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Seokchun Lim, Andrew T. Parsa, Bobby D. Kim, Joshua M. Rosenow, and John Y. S. Kim


This study evaluates the impact of resident presence in the operating room on postoperative outcomes in neurosurgery.


The authors retrospectively reviewed the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) and identified all cases treated in a neurosurgery service in 2011. Propensity scoring analysis and multiple logistic regression models were used to reduce patient bias and to assess independent effect of resident involvement.


Of the 8748 neurosurgery cases identified, residents were present in 4529 cases. Residents were more likely to be involved in complex procedures with longer operative duration. The multivariate analysis found that resident involvement was not a statistically significant factor for overall complications (OR 1.116, 95% CI 0.961–1.297), surgical complications (OR 1.132, 95% CI 0.825–1.554), medical complications (OR 1.146, 95% CI 0.979–1.343), reoperation (OR 1.250, 95% CI 0.984–1.589), mortality (OR 1.164, 95% CI 0.780–1.737), or unplanned readmission (OR 1.148, 95% CI 0.946–1.393).


In this multicenter study, the authors demonstrated that resident involvement in the operating room was not a significant factor for postoperative complications in neurosurgery service. This analysis also showed that much of the observed difference in postoperative complication rates was attributable to other confounding factors. This is a quality indicator for resident trainees and current medical education. Maintaining high standards in postgraduate training is imperative in enhancing patient care and reducing postoperative complications.

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Bobby D. Kim, Timothy R. Smith, Seokchun Lim, George R. Cybulski, and John Y. S. Kim


Unplanned hospital readmission represents a large financial burden on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, commercial insurance payers, hospitals, and individual patients, and is a principal target for cost reduction. A large-scale, multi-institutional study that evaluates risk factors for readmission has not been previously performed in patients undergoing lumbar decompression procedures. The goal of this multicenter retrospective study was to find preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative predictive factors that result in unplanned readmission (UR) after lumbar decompression surgery.


The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was retrospectively reviewed to identify all patients who received lumbar decompression procedures in 2011. Risk-adjusted multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate independent predictors of UR.


The overall rate of UR among patients undergoing lumbar decompression was 4.4%. After multivariate logistic regression analysis, anemia (odds ratio [OR] 1.48), dependent functional status (OR 3.03), total operative duration (OR 1.003), and American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Class 4 (OR 3.61) remained as independent predictors of UR. Postoperative complications that were significantly associated with UR included overall complications (OR 5.18), pulmonary embolism (OR 3.72), and unplanned reoperation (OR 56.91).


There were several risk factors for UR after lumbar spine decompression surgery. Identification of high-risk patients and appropriate allocation of resources to reduce postoperative incidence may reduce the readmission rate.

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Mohamed Macki, Travis Hamilton, Seokchun Lim, Edvin Telemi, Michael Bazydlo, David R. Nerenz, Hesham Mostafa Zakaria, Lonni Schultz, Jad G. Khalil, Miguelangelo J. Perez-Cruet, Ilyas S. Aleem, Paul Park, Jason M. Schwalb, Muwaffak M. Abdulhak, and Victor Chang


Most studies on racial disparities in spine surgery lack data granularity to control for both comorbidities and self-assessment metrics. Analyses from large, multicenter surgical registries can provide an enhanced platform for understanding different factors that influence outcome. In this study, the authors aimed to determine the effects of race on outcomes after lumbar surgery, using patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in 3 areas: the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for low-back pain, and return to work.


The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative was queried for all elective lumbar operations. Patient race/ethnicity was categorized as Caucasian, African American, and “other.” Measures of association between race and PROs were calculated with generalized estimating equations (GEEs) to report adjusted risk ratios.


The African American cohort consisted of a greater proportion of women with the highest comorbidity burden. Among the 7980 and 4222 patients followed up at 1 and 2 years postoperatively, respectively, African American patients experienced the lowest rates of satisfaction, MCID on ODI, and return to work. Following a GEE, African American race decreased the probability of satisfaction at both 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Race did not affect return to work or achieving MCID on the ODI. The variable of greatest association with all 3 PROs at both follow-up times was postoperative depression.


While a complex myriad of socioeconomic factors interplay between race and surgical success, the authors identified modifiable risk factors, specifically depression, that may improve PROs among African American patients after elective lumbar spine surgery.