Increasing Body Mass Index is Associated With Worse Perioperative Outcomes and Higher Costs in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery

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Study Design.

Retrospective review.


To investigate associations of obesity with outcomes and costs of adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

Summary of Background Data.

Increasing body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for complications after nondeformity spine surgery, but its effect on ASD surgery is unknown.


We reviewed records of 244 ASD patients who underwent spinal arthrodesis of ≥5 levels from 2010 to 2014 and categorized them by World Health Organization BMI groups: BMI < 30, nonobese (64%); BMI = 30–34.99, class-I obese (21%); and BMI ≥ 35, class-II/III obese (15%). We used multivariate logistical regression to determine odds of transfusion, inpatient complications, prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay (>2 days), prolonged total length of hospital stay (LOS) (>1 week), and high episode-of-care costs (>$80,000).


Preoperative characteristics were similar among groups, except sex, preoperative hemoglobin concentration, and performance/type of osteotomy (all, P = 0.01). On univariate analysis, the groups differed in rates of prolonged ICU stay (P < 0.001), prolonged total LOS (P = 0.016), and high episode-of-care costs (P = 0.013). Inpatient complication rates were similar among groups (P = 0.218). On multivariate analysis, compared with nonobese patients, class I obese patients had greater odds of prolonged ICU stay (odds ratio [OR] = 2.24, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06, 4.71). Class II/III obese patients also had greater odds of prolonged total LOS (OR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.03, 4.71), and high episode-of-care costs (OR = 2.91, 95% CI: 1.31, 6.50).


In ASD surgery, BMI ≥35 is associated with significantly worse perioperative outcomes and higher costs compared with those of nonobese patients.


Level of Evidence: 3

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