Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Review
Systematic Review
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Do overlapping neurosurgical procedures affect patient outcomes? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Neurosurgical Review 2023 April 20
Overlapping surgery (OS) is a common practice in neurosurgery that has recently come under scrutiny. This study includes a systematic review and meta-analysis on articles evaluating the effects of OS on patient outcomes. PubMed and Scopus were searched for studies that analyzed outcome differences between overlapping and non-overlapping neurosurgical procedures. Study characteristics were extracted, and random-effects meta-analyses were performed to analyze the primary outcome (mortality) and secondary outcomes (complications, 30-day readmissions, 30-day operating room returns, home discharge, blood loss, and length of stay). Mantel-Haenszel tests were completed for binary outcomes, whereas the inverse variance tests were conducted for continuous outcomes. Heterogeneity was measured using the I2 and X2 tests. The Egger's test was conducted to evaluate publication bias. Eight of 61 non-duplicate studies were included. Overall, 21,249 patients underwent non-OS (10,504 female) and 15,863 patients underwent OS (8393 female). OS was associated with decreased mortality (p = 0.002), 30-day returns to OR (p < 0.001), and blood loss (p < 0.001) along with increased home discharges (p < 0.001). High heterogeneity was observed for home discharge (p = 0.002) and length of stay (p < 0.001). No publication bias was observed. OS was not associated with worse patient outcomes compared to non-OS. However, considering multiple sources of limitation in the methodology of the included studies (such as limited number of studies, reports originating from mostly high-volume academic centers, discrepancy in the definition of "critical portion(s)" of the surgery across studies, and selection bias), extra caution is advised in interpretation of our results and further focused studies are warranted.

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