Do overlapping neurosurgeries have worse outcomes? Not always, according to new study: 5 key notes

Written by Laura Dyrda | May 01, 2017 | Print  |

A new Phoenix-based study examines whether overlapping neurosurgeries have different outcomes than non-overlapping procedures; the findings were surprising, according to an article posted in Medscape.

The study included 14,872 neurosurgical procedures and found the outcomes weren't worse among surgeons who performed overlapping procedures; in several cases, the outcomes were actually better. Michael Bohl, MD, a neurosurgery resident with Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix presented the findings at the 2017 American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting.


Dr. Bohl and his colleagues examined data in a retrospective study for cases performed between July 2013 and June 2016. The study authors found:


1. Patients who underwent overlapping surgeries reported significant benefit in outcomes measures including the length of stay, return to the operating room and disposition status.


2. The procedure length was the only measured outcome with significant differences; the overlapping cases were longer, according to the report, and more senior residents staffed them.


3. The study authors also examined patients undergoing aneurysm clipping as part of a separate prospective trial. The overlapping patients had improved aneurysm obliteration rates at hospital discharge.


4. A further sub analysis of deep brain stimulation showed similar outcomes between the overlapping and non-overlapping groups in electrode error, brain penetrations and general outcomes measures.


5. The data suggested the overlapping cases were not less complex than non-overlapping cases. The study was done at a specialized center, which means the results may be different in a more generalized setting.


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