Perioperative outcomes of anterior lumbar surgery in obese versus non-obese patients

NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA.
The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society (Impact Factor: 2.43). 07/2009; 9(9):715-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.spinee.2009.04.023
Source: PubMed


Anterior lumbar surgery is a common procedure for anterior lumbar interbody fusion and disc replacement but the impact of obesity on this procedure has not been determined.
To assess the perioperative outcomes of anterior retroperitoneal lumbar surgery in obese versus non-obese patients.
Prospective review of patients with anterior retroperitoneal lumbar disc procedures
Seventy-four patients with anterior retroperitoneal lumbar disc procedures performed were evaluated.
Access-related parameters included tissue depth (skin-to-fascia and fascia-to-spine depths), length of incision, estimated blood loss during the anterior procedure, the duration of the anterior exposure, and the duration of the entire anterior procedure. Outcome measures included complications attributable to the anterior procedure, analgesic use, length of time to ambulation, and length of hospitalization.
Seventy-four anterior retroperitoneal lumbar disc procedures were prospectively analyzed. Patient age, sex, body mass index, comorbidities, diagnosis, and operative parameters were collected. Access-related parameters and outcome measures were compared between obese and non-obese patients. Obesity was defined as body mass index greater than or equal to 30.
There were 35 males and 39 females. Mean age was 46.6 years. The main diagnosis (63.5%) was discogenic back pain. Forty-one (55%) patients were non-obese and 33 were obese. The two patient groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, diagnosis, mean number of anterior levels operated, and previous abdominal surgery (all p>.05). In obese patients, there were two iliac vein lacerations (major complication rate, 6.1%), one superficial infection, and one urinary tract infection (minor complication rate, 6.1%). In non-obese patients, there were two iliac vein lacerations, one intestinal serosal tear (major complication rate, 7.3%), and two urinary tract infections (minor complication rate, 4.9%). There was no significant difference in the complication rates between obese and non-obese patients (p=.6). Obese patients have significantly longer duration of anterior exposure, duration of entire anterior surgery, longer length of anterior incision, and more depth from skin to fascia and from fascia to spine compared with non-obese patients. However, obesity does not affect blood loss, analgesic use, length of time to ambulation, and length of hospitalization.
Perioperative outcomes in obese and non-obese patients were comparable and obesity is not related to an increased risk of morbidity in anterior lumbar surgery.

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