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Alvin Y. Chan and Sumeet Vadera

OBJECTIVE

Morning discharge huddles consist of multiple members of the inpatient care team and are used to improve communication and patient care and to facilitate patient flow through the hospital. However, the effect of huddles on hospital costs and patient satisfaction has not been clearly elucidated. The authors investigated how a neurosurgeryled interdisciplinary daily morning huddle affected various costs of patient care and patient satisfaction.

METHODS

Huddles were conducted at 8:30 am Monday through Friday, and lasted approximately 30 minutes. The authors retrospectively looked at the average monthly costs per patient for a variety of variables (e.g., average ICU days, average step-down days, average direct cost, average laboratory costs, average pharmacy costs, hospital ratings, and hospital recommendations) and compared the results from before and after implementation of the huddle.

RESULTS

There was a significant decrease in the number of ICU days, average laboratory costs, and average pharmacy costs per patient after the huddle was implemented; decreased laboratory and pharmacy costs produced $1,408,047.66 in savings. There was no significant difference found for the average direct cost. The percentage of patients who rated the hospital as a 9 or 10 significantly increased. The percentage who answered “strongly agree” when asked whether they would recommend the hospital also significantly increased.

CONCLUSIONS

A short morning huddle consisting of key members of the inpatient team may result in substantial hospital savings derived from reduced ICU days and laboratory and pharmacy costs as well as increased patient satisfaction.

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Sumeet Vadera, Alvin Y. Chan, Lilit Mnatsankanyan, Mona Sazgar, Indranil Sen-Gupta, Jack Lin and Frank P. K. Hsu

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of patients with medically refractory focal epilepsy is underutilized. Patients may lack access to surgically proficient centers. The University of California, Irvine (UCI) entered strategic partnerships with 2 epilepsy centers with limited surgical capabilities. A formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) was created to provide epilepsy surgery to patients from these centers.

METHODS

The authors analyzed UCI surgical and financial data associated with patients undergoing epilepsy surgery between September 2012 and June 2016, before and after institution of the MOU. Variables collected included the length of stay, patient age, seizure semiology, use of invasive monitoring, and site of surgery as well as the monthly number of single-surgery cases, complex cases (i.e., staged surgeries), and overall number of surgery cases.

RESULTS

Over the 46 months of the study, a total of 104 patients underwent a total of 200 operations; 71 operations were performed in 39 patients during the pre-MOU period (28 months) and 129 operations were performed in 200 patients during the post-MOU period (18 months). There was a significant difference in the use of invasive monitoring, the site of surgery, the final therapy, and the type of insurance. The number of single-surgery cases, complex-surgery cases, and the overall number of cases increased significantly.

CONCLUSIONS

Partnerships with outside epilepsy centers are a means to increase access to surgical care. These partnerships are likely reproducible, can be mutually beneficial to all centers involved, and ultimately improve patient access to care.

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Alvin Y. Chan, John D. Rolston, Brian Lee, Sumeet Vadera and Dario J. Englot

OBJECTIVE

Corpus callosotomy is a palliative surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy that reduces the severity and frequency of generalized seizures by disconnecting the two cerebral hemispheres. Unlike with resection, seizure outcomes remain poorly understood. The authors systematically reviewed the literature and performed a meta-analysis to investigate rates and predictors of complete seizure freedom and freedom from drop attacks after corpus callosotomy.

METHODS

PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus were queried for primary studies examining seizure outcomes after corpus callosotomy published over 30 years. Rates of complete seizure freedom or drop attack freedom were recorded. Variables showing a potential relationship to seizure outcome on preliminary analysis were subjected to formal meta-analysis.

RESULTS

The authors identified 1742 eligible patients from 58 included studies. Overall, the rates of complete seizure freedom and drop attack freedom after corpus callosotomy were 18.8% and 55.3%, respectively. Complete seizure freedom was significantly predicted by the presence of infantile spasms (OR 3.86, 95% CI 1.13–13.23), normal MRI findings (OR 4.63, 95% CI 1.75–12.25), and shorter epilepsy duration (OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.23–5.38). Freedom from drop attacks was predicted by complete over partial callosotomy (OR 2.90, 95% CI 1.07–7.83) and idiopathic over known epilepsy etiology (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.35–5.99).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report the first systematic review and meta-analysis of seizure outcomes in both adults and children after corpus callosotomy for epilepsy. Approximately one-half of patients become free from drop attacks, and one-fifth achieve complete seizure freedom after surgery. Some predictors of favorable outcome differ from those in resective epilepsy surgery.

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Alvin Y. Chan, Diem Kieu T. Tran, Amandip S. Gill, Frank P. K. Hsu and Sumeet Vadera

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a variety of intracranial lesions. Utilization of robotic assistance with stereotactic procedures has gained attention due to potential for advantages over conventional techniques. The authors report the first case in which robot-assisted MRI-guided LITT was used to treat radiation necrosis in the posterior fossa, specifically within the cerebellar peduncle. The use of a stereotactic robot allowed the surgeon to perform LITT using a trajectory that would be extremely difficult with conventional arc-based techniques.

A 60-year-old man presented with facial weakness and brainstem symptoms consistent with radiation necrosis. He had a history of anaplastic astrocytoma that was treated with CyberKnife radiosurgery 1 year prior to presentation, and he did well for 11 months until his symptoms recurred. The location and form of the lesion precluded excision but made the patient a suitable candidate for LITT. The location and configuration of the lesion required a trajectory for LITT that was too low for arc-based stereotactic navigation, and thus the ROSA robot (Medtech) was used. Using preoperative MRI acquisitions, the lesion in the posterior fossa was targeted. Bone fiducials were used to improve accuracy in registration, and the authors obtained an intraoperative CT image that was then fused with the MR image by the ROSA robot. They placed the laser applicator and then ablated the lesion under real-time MR thermometry. There were no complications, and the patient tolerated the procedure well. Postoperative 2-month MRI showed complete resolution of the lesion, and the patient had some improvement in symptoms.

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Andrew K. Chan, Alvin Y. Chan, Darryl Lau, Beata Durcanova, Catherine A. Miller, Paul S. Larson, Philip A. Starr and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Camptocormia is a potentially debilitating condition in the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is described as an abnormal forward flexion while standing that resolves when lying supine. Although the condition is relatively common, the underlying pathophysiology and optimal treatment strategy are unclear. In this study, the authors systematically reviewed the current surgical management strategies for camptocormia.

METHODS

PubMed was queried for primary studies involving surgical intervention for camptocormia in PD patients. Studies were excluded if they described nonsurgical interventions, provided only descriptive data, or were case reports. Secondarily, data from studies describing deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nuclei were extracted for potential meta-analysis. Variables showing correlation to improvement in sagittal plane bending angle (i.e., the vertical angle caused by excessive kyphosis) were subjected to formal meta-analysis.

RESULTS

The query resulted in 9 studies detailing treatment of camptocormia: 1 study described repetitive trans-spinal magnetic stimulation (rTSMS), 7 studies described DBS, and 1 study described deformity surgery. Five studies were included for meta-analysis. The total number of patients was 66. The percentage of patients with over 50% decrease in sagittal plane imbalance with DBS was 36.4%. A duration of camptocormia of 2 years or less was predictive of better outcomes (OR 4.15).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical options include transient, external spinal stimulation; DBS targeting the subthalamic nuclei; and spinal deformity surgery. Benefit from DBS stimulation was inconsistent. Spine surgery corrected spinal imbalance but was associated with a high complication rate.

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Andrew K. Chan, Erica F. Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Eric A. Potts, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Paul Park, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Silky Chotai, Anthony M. DiGiorgio, Alvin Y. Chan, Regis W. Haid and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons launched the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), a prospective longitudinal registry that includes demographic, clinical, and patient-reported outcome (PRO) data, to measure the safety and quality of neurosurgical procedures, including spinal surgery. Differing results from recent randomized controlled trials have established a need to clarify the groups that would most benefit from surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. In the present study, the authors compared patients who were the most and the least satisfied following surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective, national longitudinal registry including patients who had undergone surgery for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. The most and least satisfied patients were identified based on an answer of “1” and “4,” respectively, on the North American Spine Society (NASS) Satisfaction Questionnaire 12 months postoperatively. Baseline demographics, clinical variables, surgical parameters, and outcomes were collected. Patient-reported outcome measures, including the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for back pain, NRS for leg pain, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and EQ-5D (the EuroQol health survey), were administered at baseline and 3 and 12 months after treatment.

RESULTS

Four hundred seventy-seven patients underwent surgery for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis in the period from July 2014 through December 2015. Two hundred fifty-five patients (53.5%) were the most satisfied and 26 (5.5%) were the least satisfied. Compared with the most satisfied patients, the least satisfied ones more often had coronary artery disease (CAD; 26.9% vs 12.2%, p = 0.04) and had higher body mass indices (32.9 ± 6.5 vs 30.0 ± 6.0 kg/m2, p = 0.02). In the multivariate analysis, female sex (OR 2.9, p = 0.02) was associated with the most satisfaction. Notably, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, smoking, psychiatric comorbidity, and employment status were not significantly associated with satisfaction. Although there were no significant differences at baseline, the most satisfied patients had significantly lower NRS back and leg pain and ODI scores and a greater EQ-5D score at 3 and 12 months postoperatively (p < 0.001 for all).

CONCLUSIONS

This study revealed that some patient factors differ between those who report the most and those who report the least satisfaction after surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. Patients reporting the least satisfaction tended to have CAD or were obese. Female sex was associated with the most satisfaction when adjusting for potential covariates. These findings highlight several key factors that could aid in setting expectations for outcomes following surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.