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Open access

David J. Mazur-Hart, Nasser K. Yaghi, Maryam N. Shahin, and Ahmed M. Raslan

BACKGROUND

Laser interstitial thermal therapy has been used in tumor and epilepsy surgery to maximize clinical treatment impact while minimizing morbidity. This intervention places a premium on accuracy. With the advent of robotics, neurosurgery is entering a new age of improved accuracy. Here, the authors described the use of robotic-assisted laser placement for the treatment of epileptiform lesions.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors presented a case of a 21-year-old woman with medically intractable epilepsy, localized to left mesial temporal sclerosis and left temporal encephalocele by way of stereotactic electroencephalography, who presented for consideration of surgical intervention. When presented with resection versus laser ablation, the patient opted for laser ablation. The patient received robotic-assisted stereotactic laser ablation (RASLA) using a Stealth Autoguide. The patient was seizure free (10 weeks) after surgical ablation.

LESSONS

RASLA is an effective way to treat epilepsy. Here, the authors reported the first RASLA procedure with a Stealth Autoguide to treat epilepsy. The procedure can be performed effectively and efficiently for multiple epileptic foci without the need for bulkier robotic options or head frames that may interfere with the use of magnetic resonance imaging for heat mapping.

Free access

David J. Mazur-Hart, Stephen G. Bowden, Brandi W. Pang, Nasser K. Yaghi, Joseph G. Nugent, Laurie D. Yablon, Wendy O. Domreis, Erika T. Ohm, and Christina M. Sayama

OBJECTIVE

Amid national and local budget crises, cutting costs while maintaining quality care is a top priority. Chiari malformation is a relatively common pediatric neurosurgical pathology, and postoperative care varies widely. The postoperative course can be complicated by pain and nausea, which can extend the hospital stay. In this study, the authors aimed to examine whether instituting a standardized postoperative care protocol would decrease overall patient hospital length of stay (LOS) as well as cost to families and the hospital system.

METHODS

A retrospective study of pediatric patients who underwent an intradural Chiari decompression with expansile duraplasty at a single institution from January 2016 to September 2019 was performed. A standardized postoperative care protocol was instituted on May 17, 2018. Pre- and postprotocol groups were primarily analyzed for demographics, LOS, and the estimated financial expense of the hospital stay. Secondary analysis included readmissions, opioid consumption, and follow-up.

RESULTS

The analysis included 132 pediatric patients who underwent an intradural Chiari decompression with expansile duraplasty. The preprotocol group included 97 patients and the postprotocol group included 35 patients. Patient age ranged from 0.5 to 26 years (mean 9.5 years). The mean LOS preprotocol was 55.48 hours (range 25.90–127.77 hours), and the mean postprotocol LOS was 46.39 hours (range 27.58–77.38 hours). The comparison between means showed a statistically significant decrease following protocol initiation (95% CI 1.87–16.31 hours, p = 0.014). In the preprotocol group, 21 of 97 patients (22%) were discharged the first day after surgery compared with 14 of 35 patients (40%) in the postprotocol group (p = 0.045). The estimated cost of one night on the pediatric neurosurgical intermediate ward was approximately $4500, which gives overall cost estimates for 100 theoretical cases of $927,800 for the preprotocol group and $732,900 for the postprotocol group.

CONCLUSIONS

By instituting a Chiari protocol, postoperative LOS was significantly decreased, which resulted in decreased healthcare costs while maintaining high-quality and safe care.

Free access

Stephen G. Bowden, Dominic A. Siler, Maryam N. Shahin, David J. Mazur-Hart, Daniel N. Munger, Miner N. Ross, Brannan E. O’Neill, Caleb S. Nerison, Michael Rothbaum, Seunggu J. Han, James M. Wright, Josiah N. Orina, Jesse L. Winer, and Nathan R. Selden

OBJECTIVE

To comply with the removal of the 88-hour week exemption and to support additional operative experience during junior residency, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) switched from a night-float call schedule to a modified 24-hour call schedule on July 1, 2019. This study compared the volumes of clinical, procedural, and operative cases experienced by postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2) and PGY-3 residents under these systems.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied billing and related clinical records, call schedules, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs for PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents at OHSU, a tertiary academic health center, for the first 4 months of the academic years from 2017 to 2020. The authors analyzed the volumes of new patient consultations, bedside procedures, and operative procedures performed by each PGY-2 and PGY-3 resident during these years, comparing the volumes experienced under each call system.

RESULTS

Changing from a PGY-2 resident–focused night-float call system to a 24-hour call system that was more evenly distributed between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents resulted in decreased volume of new patient consultations, increased volume of operative procedures, and no change in volume of bedside procedures for PGY-2 residents. PGY-3 residents experienced a decrease in operative procedure volume under the 24-hour call system.

CONCLUSIONS

Transition from a night-float system to a 24-hour call system altered the distribution of clinical and procedural experiences between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents. Further research is necessary to understand the impact of these changes on educational outcomes, quality and safety of patient care, and resident satisfaction.