Thomas A Sweasey

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (3)5.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Numerous surgical options for treatment of chronic subdural hematomas (cSDH) exist. Several reports have examined the Subdural Evacuating Port System (SEPS), a variation of the twist drill craniotomy (TDC) technique. Although high success rates have been reported, a significant portion of patients treated with SEPS fail and require additional procedures. This report examines the largest single institution experience with the SEPS and explores patient and imaging characteristics associated with successful procedures. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed to identify all patients who have undergone SEPS drainage of cSDH. Demographic and radiographic characteristics were evaluated. Demographic data included patient's age, sex, presenting symptoms, pre-procedural GCS score, and use of anticoagulation or antiplatelet agents. The volume of drainage per procedure and radiographic data including laterality, density, and maximal diameter of the collection, presence of septations, midline shift, resolution of the collection 3 weeks post procedure, and measurements to assess atrophy were collected. Total length of stay and time in the intensive care unit was also recorded. Results were classified as a success or failure based on the need for additional procedures including craniotomy or burr hole craniotomy in the operating room. Patients treated with two SEPS procedures during the same hospitalization and no other procedures were included in the success group for statistical analyses. Results: 171 subdural collections were treated in 159 patients (147 unilateral and 12 bilateral). One hundred thirty three collections (77.8%) were successfully drained. In a comparison of the success and failure groups, there were no statistically significant differences (p<0.05) in the patients' mean age, sex, presenting Glasgow Coma Scale score, coagulation profile, presenting symptoms (except altered mental status and language disturbance), subdural diameter or laterality, midline shift, presence of atrophy, density of most acute portion, or time in hospital. In the success group, there was a shorter mean stay in the intensive care unit (S: 4.1±4.5 days vs F: 5.4±4.6 days; p=0.03) and a larger output drained (S: 131.1±71.2ml vs F: 99.0±84.2ml; p=0.04). Success was less likely with mixed density collections (S: 38.2% vs F: 64.3%; p=0.02) and with collections containing greater than 2 intrahematomal septations (S: 17.1% vs F: 40.7%; p=0.007). In successful cases, mean volumes for collections prior to SEPS, immediately after SEPS, and on delayed scans (≥30 days since SEPS placement) the respective volumes were 83.1±35.1ml, 41.5±23.2ml, and 37.9±26.5ml. Both post-SEPS volumes were less than the pre-SEPS volume (p<0.0001). 76.0% of patients with delayed scans had complete resolution of cSDH or minimal residual cSDH with no local mass effect on the most recent imaging. The mean period of follow-up imaging was 95.6±196.2 days. Only one patient in our series required an emergent craniotomy following immediate complications from SEPS placement. Conclusions: The SEPS is an effective, safe, and durable treatment for cSDH. Although we consider the SEPS a first-line treatment for the majority of patients with cSDH, management of cSDH must be tailored to each patient. In mixed density collections with large proportions of acute hemorrhage and in collections with numerous intrahematomal septations, alternative surgical techniques should be considered as first-line therapies.
    Clinical neurology and neurosurgery 08/2012; 115(6). DOI:10.1016/j.clineuro.2012.07.017 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surgical treatment in the setting of central cord syndrome (CCS) has become safer since Schneider's original description. It is generally accepted that a decompressive surgical intervention is a valid treatment option in a patient with CCS and radiographic evidence of spinal cord compression. The optimal timing of surgical intervention for CCS remains controversial. To review a single institution's experience managing CCS, with particular emphasis on surgical versus medical management, timing of surgery, neurologic outcomes, hospital length of stay, and complications. Retrospective review. One hundred twenty-six patients diagnosed with CCS were treated at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center between June 1985 and September 2006. Neurological outcomes were measured using the Frankel grading scale. Other outcome measures included hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay and complication profiles. A retrospective chart review was performed on patients admitted to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center with the diagnosis of traumatic central cord injury from June 1985 to September 2006 with institutional review board approval. Neurologic status was recorded on presentation and at maximum follow-up using the Frankel classification. The surgical cohort was stratified into three subgroups with regard to the timing of surgical intervention after injury: surgery less than 24 hours after injury, surgery greater than 24 hours after injury but during the initial admission, and delayed operative intervention on a second hospital admission. Other variables collected included ICU and hospital length of stay and complication profiles. Data analyses were performed using SPSS (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA) and Excel 2002 (Microsoft, Seattle, WA, USA). A total of 126 patients treated for CCS were reviewed. Sixty-seven patients received surgery compared with 59 patients managed nonoperatively. Of those managed operatively, 16 patients received surgery within 24 hours of the time of injury. There were 34 patients who received surgery greater than 24 hours after the time of injury but during their initial admission with a mean time to surgery of 6.4 days (5-52 days). There were 17 patients who received their operation on a second hospital admission with a mean time interval of 137 days between injury and surgery (3-209). Mean follow-up was 32 months (1-210 months). An improvement in Frankel grade was seen in the overall operative cohort compared with those patients who received medical management alone. No statistically significant difference in neurologic outcome using Frankel grades was identified between the surgical subgroups with regard to timing of surgery. A trend toward decreased length of stay was seen in the surgical subgroup that received surgery during their initial admission. No statistically significant difference was identified between complication rates for the operative and nonoperative groups; however, a trend toward fewer complications and deaths was seen in those who received surgery in the first 24 hours or during the initial hospitalization. Surgical treatment in the setting of CCS has become safer since Schneider's original description. Acknowledging its numerous limitations, this retrospective study supports surgical intervention in the setting of CCS as a safe effective management option. Improved Frankel grades were identified in those patients managed surgically compared with those receiving medical management alone. The data further shed light on the safety and potential benefits of early operative intervention for acute CCS compared with delayed surgical treatment. A prospective randomized controlled trial is needed to definitively compare surgical versus medical management and/or early versus delayed surgical treatment in the setting of traumatic CCS.
    The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society 10/2010; 10(10):874-80. DOI:10.1016/j.spinee.2010.07.388 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors describe a method of harvesting autologous pericranium for duraplasty in patients with Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) that avoids excessive exposure or a second incision. Nonautologous dural grafts have been associated with numerous complications including hemorrhage, bacteria and virus transmission, fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease transmission, foreign body reaction, systemic immune response, excessive scarring, slower healing, premature graft dissolution, and wound dehiscence. Autogenous tissues have the advantage of being nonimmunogenic, nontoxic, readily available, and inexpensive. Pericranium is a preferred substrate because it is flexible, strong, and easily sutured for a watertight closure. Current literature supports the use of autogenous pericranium for dural grafting in CM-I procedures, but has heretofore failed to provide a method of harvest that avoids the complications associated with a larger exposure or second incision. The authors offer a simple alternative technique for using local pericranium in duraplasty for CM-I or other posterior fossa abnormalities.
    Journal of Neurosurgery Spine 08/2009; 11(1):80-3. DOI:10.3171/2009.3.SPINE08196 · 2.38 Impact Factor