February 11, 2019

Study: Outcomes with overlapping surgery

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

This study from a large academic medical center finds that the practice of overlapping surgery does not expose patients to increased risk of negative outcomes.

Data on operative procedures from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, were used to compare outcomes of nonoverlapping surgery patients with overlapping surgery patients.

A total of 26,260 cases were analyzed for surgical time and 15,106 cases for outcomes.

Overlapping surgery patients had:

  • an average case length of 2.18 hours compared with 1.64 hours for nonoverlapping surgery patients
  • a decreased risk of mortality
  • a decreased risk of readmission
  • a decreased risk of experiencing any of seven patient safety indicators.

The findings confirm prior reports of overlapping surgery and addresses gaps in the literature, such as the effect of resident involvement and the individual effects in 13 different surgical specialties, the researchers say.


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