Spinal anesthesia improves patient recovery after spine surgery — 4 insights

A study, presented at Anesthesiology 2017, examined the effectiveness of spinal and general anesthesia in spine surgery patients, Medscape reports.

New York City-based Montefiore Medical Center's Matthew Morris, MD, and colleagues conducted the study. Researchers examined demographic and clinical data for 188 patients who underwent a lumbar laminectomy or a discectomy procedure between 2012 and 2016. They examined blood loss, incidence of dural tears, anesthesia time, operating room time and several postoperative factors.

Approximately 97 patients received spinal anesthesia, while 91 received general anesthesia.

They found:

1. Spinal anesthesia reduced costs by nearly 10 percent from $9,284.75 for the general anesthesia group to $8,446 for the spinal anesthesia group.

2. While surgeons and anesthesiologists prefer general anesthesia, research indicates that spinal anesthesia is a safe alternative.

3. The spinal group spent less time in the OR, the PACU and under anesthesia than the general anesthesia group.

4. The spinal anesthesia group reported less postoperative pain and required fewer opioids, however the spinal anesthesia group had 4.2 ductal tears compared to the general anesthesia group which had 2.2.

Anesthesiology 2017 was Oct. 21 to Oct. 25 in Boston.

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