Are postoperative labs necessary for MIS TLIF? 5 key findings


A new study published in Clinical Spine Surgery examines the effectiveness of routine postoperative laboratory studies for minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.


Study authors examined 322 patients who underwent primary, one-level MIS TLIF from 2007 to 2013. The patients were either low risk or high risk based on their postoperative laboratory abnormalities. There were 270 low-risk and 62 high-risk patients in the study.


The researchers found:


1. For both high and low risk patients, the following factors were similar in preoperative values:


• Hemoglobin
• Hematocrit
• Blood urea nitrogen
• Sodium
• Potassium
• Calcium


These same factors had similar changes from preoperative to postoperative measurements in both groups.


2. None of the patients required blood transfusion.


3. There were a few patients who required oral potassium: 4.1 percent of the low-risk and 8.1 percent of the high-risk patients received the supplements. When patients received the supplements, most reported consuming medications that were known to decrease serum potassium levels.


4. No patients received additional interventions after surgery.


5. Study authors concluded their findings suggest routine blood count or BMP after uncomplicated MIS TLIF "may be limited except in the setting of select preoperative comorbidities and/or perioperative risk factors or events."


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