Outcomes of Concurrent Operations: Results From the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine whether concurrently performed operations are associated with an increased risk for adverse events.

Background:

Concurrent operations occur when a surgeon is simultaneously responsible for critical portions of 2 or more operations. How this practice affects patient outcomes is unknown.

Methods:

Using American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data from 2014 to 2015, operations were considered concurrent if they overlapped by ≥60 minutes or in their entirety. Propensity-score-matched cohorts were constructed to compare death or serious morbidity (DSM), unplanned reoperation, and unplanned readmission in concurrent versus non-concurrent operations. Multilevel hierarchical regression was used to account for the clustered nature of the data while controlling for procedure and case mix.

Results:

There were 1430 (32.3%) surgeons from 390 (77.7%) hospitals who performed 12,010 (2.3%) concurrent operations. Plastic surgery (n = 393 [13.7%]), otolaryngology (n = 470 [11.2%]), and neurosurgery (n = 2067 [8.4%]) were specialties with the highest proportion of concurrent operations. Spine procedures were the most frequent concurrent procedures overall (n = 2059/12,010 [17.1%]). Unadjusted rates of DSM (9.0% vs 7.1%; P < 0.001), reoperation (3.6% vs 2.7%; P < 0.001), and readmission (6.9% vs 5.1%; P < 0.001) were greater in the concurrent operation cohort versus the non-concurrent. After propensity score matching and risk-adjustment, there was no significant association of concurrence with DSM (odds ratio [OR] 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.96–1.21), reoperation (OR 1.16; 95% CI 0.96–1.40), or readmission (OR 1.14; 95% CI 0.99–1.29).

Conclusions:

In these analyses, concurrent operations were not detected to increase the risk for adverse outcomes. These results do not lessen the need for further studies, continuous self-regulation and proactive disclosure to patients.

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