Spinal anesthesia yields 9.9% hospital savings compared to general anesthesia for spine surgery: 7 takeaways

Written by Megan Wood | November 01, 2017 | Print  | Email

Researchers from Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both located in New York City, studied the use of spinal anesthesia versus general anesthesia for spine surgery, according to Medscape.

The study involved 188 patients who received lumbar laminectomy or discectomy procedures between 2012 and 2016. Of the patients, 97 received spinal anesthesia and 91 received general anesthesia.


Researchers reviewed blood loss, dural tears, anesthesia time, operating room time and surgical time. They honed in on post-anesthesia care unit time, pain scores, analgesic use, incidence of nausea and vomiting, urinary retention, spinal headache and 30-day readmission.


Here are seven takeaways:


1. The researchers found spinal anesthesia boosted recovery and decreased costs by about 10 percent.


2. The spinal anesthesia cohort experienced quicker OR and PACU times as well as less spent less time under anesthesia.


3. The spinal anesthesia patients reported less postoperative pain as well, yielding lower opioid use.


4. The study revealed more than 50 percent of the general anesthesia cost was due to OR time.


5. The study revealed net costs for the spinal anesthesia group were $8,446.14 ± 269.99 compared to $9,284.75 ± 436.58 for the general anesthesia group. This reflects a 9.93 percent savings.


6. One concern around dural tears came up with the spinal anesthesia group, though. The spinal anesthesia group saw 4.12 ductal tears compared to 2.2 in the general anesthesia group.


7. The researchers concluded spinal anesthesia is safe and effective for spinal surgery and will save hospitals money.  


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