Postoperative Complication Burden, Revision Risk, and Health Care Use in Obese Patients Undergoing Primary Adult Thoracolumbar Deformity Surgery
Journal Paper/Review - Feb 25, 2020
Varshneya Kunal, Ratliff John K, Desai Atman, Herrick Daniel B, Medress Zachary A, Fatemi Parastou, Ho Allen L, Stienen Martin N., Pangal Dhiraj J, Veeravagu Anand
This is a retrospective cohort study using a nationally representative administrative database.
To identify the impact of obesity on postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing thoracolumbar adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.
The obesity rate in the United States remains staggering, with approximately one-third of all Americans being overweight or obese. However, the impact of elevated body mass index on spine surgery outcomes remains unclear.
We queried the MarketScan database to identify patients who were diagnosed with a spinal deformity and underwent ASD surgery from 2007 to 2016. Patients were then stratified by whether or not they were diagnosed as obese at index surgical admission. Propensity score matching (PSM) was then utilized to mitigate intergroup differences between obese and nonobese patients. Patients <18 years and those with any prior history of trauma or tumor were excluded from this study. Baseline demographics and comorbidities, postoperative complication rates, and short- and long-term reoperation rates were determined.
A total of 7423 patients met the inclusion criteria of this study, of whom 597 (8.0%) were obese. Initially, patients with obesity had a higher 90-day postoperative complication rate than nonobese patients (46.1% vs 40.8%, < .05); however, this difference did not remain after PSM. Revision surgery rates after 2 years were similar across the 2 groups following primary surgery (obese, 21.4%, vs nonobese, 22.0%; = .7588). Health care use occurred at a higher rate among obese patients through 2 years of long-term follow-up (obese, $152 930, vs nonobese, $140 550; < .05).
Patients diagnosed with obesity who underwent ASD surgery did not demonstrate increased rates of complications, reoperations, or readmissions. However, overall health care use through 2 years of follow-up after index surgery was higher in the obesity cohort.