Introduction: There is an increasing demand for surgery of degenerative spinal disease. Limited health care resources draw attention to the need for cost-effective treatments. Outpatient surgery, when safe and feasible, is more cost-effective than inpatient surgery. The aim of this study is to study types and rates of complications following surgery for herniated cervical disc and fusion.
Methods: Complications were recorded prospectively in 759 outpatients undergoing outpatient cervical surgery at the private Oslofjord Clinic, in the time period 2008-2015.
Results: Surgical mortality was 0%. A total of 13 (1.7%) minor and major complications were recorded in 13 individual patients. Two (0.2 %) patients had to be admitted to a hospital the day of surgery. The encountered complications were postoperative hematoma (0.3%), neurological deterioration (0.4%), deep wound infection (0.3%), dural lesions with CSF-leakage (0.1%), persistent dysphagia (0.4%), persistent hoarseness (0.3%). All of the life-threatening hematomas were detected within 3 hours after surgery.
Conclusions: . This series of 759 consecutive outpatient cervical spine decompressions adds to the growing literature in favor of outpatient spinal surgery, in properly selected patients. 99.8% of the patients were successfully discharged either to their homes or to a hotel on the day of surgery. The surgical mortality was 0%, the overall complication rate was 1.7%.
Patient Care: Outpatient surgery is safe, cost less and we can show a low complication rate
Learning Objectives: Outpatient surgery for herniated cervical disc and fusion is feasible and safe.