Frank J. Attenello, Ian A. Buchanan, Timothy Wen, Daniel A. Donoho, Shirley McCartney, Steven Y. Cen, Alexander A. Khalessi, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Joseph S. Cheng, William J. Mack, Clemens M. Schirmer, Karin R. Swartz, J. Adair Prall, Ann R. Stroink, Steven L. Giannotta and Paul Klimo Jr.
Excessive dissatisfaction and stress among physicians can precipitate burnout, which results in diminished productivity, quality of care, and patient satisfaction and treatment adherence. Given the multiplicity of its harms and detriments to workforce retention and in light of the growing physician shortage, burnout has garnered much attention in recent years. Using a national survey, the authors formally evaluated burnout among neurosurgery trainees.
An 86-item questionnaire was disseminated to residents in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons database between June and November 2015. Questions evaluated personal and workplace stressors, mentorship, career satisfaction, and burnout. Burnout was assessed using the previously validated Maslach Burnout Inventory. Factors associated with burnout were determined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.
The response rate with completed surveys was 21% (346/1643). The majority of residents were male (78%), 26–35 years old (92%), in a stable relationship (70%), and without children (73%). Respondents were equally distributed across all residency years. Eighty-one percent of residents were satisfied with their career choice, although 41% had at some point given serious thought to quitting. The overall burnout rate was 67%. In the multivariate analysis, notable factors associated with burnout included inadequate operating room exposure (OR 7.57, p = 0.011), hostile faculty (OR 4.07, p = 0.008), and social stressors outside of work (OR 4.52, p = 0.008). Meaningful mentorship was protective against burnout in the multivariate regression models (OR 0.338, p = 0.031).
Rates of burnout and career satisfaction are paradoxically high among neurosurgery trainees. While several factors were predictive of burnout, including inadequate operative exposure and social stressors, meaningful mentorship proved to be protective against burnout. The documented negative effects of burnout on patient care and health care economics necessitate further studies for potential solutions to curb its rise.
Osamu Akiyama, Ken Matsushima, Abuzer Gungor, Satoshi Matsuo, Dylan J. Goodrich, R. Shane Tubbs, Paul Klimo Jr., Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Hajime Arai and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.
Approaches to the pulvinar remain challenging because of the depth of the target, surrounding critical neural structures, and complicated arterial and venous relationships. The purpose of this study was to compare the surgical approaches to different parts of the pulvinar and to examine the efficacy of the endoscope as an adjunct to the operating microscope in this area.
The pulvinar was examined in 6 formalin-fixed human cadaveric heads through 5 approaches: 4 above and 1 below the tentorium. Each approach was performed using both the surgical microscope and 0° or 45° rigid endoscopes.
The pulvinar has a lateral ventricular and a medial cisternal surface that are separated by the fornix and the choroidal fissure, which wrap around the posterior surface of the pulvinar. The medial cisternal part of the pulvinar can be further divided into upper and lower parts. The superior parietal lobule approach is suitable for lesions in the upper ventricular and cisternal parts. Interhemispheric precuneus and posterior transcallosal approaches are suitable for lesions in the part of the pulvinar forming the anterior wall of the atrium and adjacent cisternal part. The posterior interhemispheric transtentorial approach is suitable for lesions in the lower cisternal part and the supracerebellar infratentorial approach is suitable for lesions in the inferior and medial cisternal parts.
The microscope provided satisfactory views of the ventricular and cisternal surfaces of the pulvinar and adjacent neural and vascular structures. The endoscope provided multi-angled and wider views of the pulvinar and adjacent structures.
A combination of endoscopic and microsurgical techniques allows optimal exposure of the pulvinar.
Prayash Patel, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Frederick Boop and Paul Klimo Jr.
There are a number of surgical approaches to the third ventricle, each with advantages and disadvantages. Which approach to use depends on the location of the lesion within the ventricle, the goals of the operation, and the surgeon's experience. The authors present their results in children with a modified approach through the expanded foramen of Monro.
A retrospective study was conducted to identify and analyze all children who underwent what the authors term the “expanded transforaminal” approach to the third ventricle between 2010 and 2013. Perioperative data included patient demographics, signs and symptoms on presentation, tumor characteristics (type, origin, and size), complications, and clinical and radiographic outcome at final follow-up.
Twelve patients were identified (5 female, 7 male) with a mean age of 9 years (range 2–19 years). Two patients underwent gross-total resections, whereas 10 resections were less than total. There were no instances of venous infarction, significant intraoperative bleeding, or short-term memory deficits. Of the 12 patients, 7 suffered a total of 17 complications. Disruption of neuroendocrine function occurred in 4 patients: 2 with transient diabetes insipidus, 2 with permanent panhypopituitarism, and 1 with central hypothroidism (1 patient had 2 complications). The most common group of complications were CSF-related, including 2 patients requiring a new shunt. There was 1 approach-related injury to the fornix, which did not result in any clinical deficits. One child with an aggressive malignancy died of tumor progression 6 months after surgery. Of the remaining 11 patients, none have experienced tumor recurrence or progression to date.
The expanded transcallosal transforaminal approach is a safe and relatively easy method of exploiting a natural pathway to the third ventricle, but there remain blind zones in the anterosuperior and posterosuperior regions of the third ventricle.