Impact of a perioperative protocol on length of ICU and hospital stay in complex spine surgery

Eugenia Ayrian, Shihab H. Sugeir, Anush Arakelyan, Dimiter Arnaudov, Patrick C. Hsieh, Jeremy V. Laney, Peter Roffey, Thang D. Tran, Chelsia L. Varner, Kevin Vu, Vladimir Zelman, John C. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background:In an attempt to improve patient care, a perioperative complex spine surgery management protocol was developed through collaboration between spine surgeons and neuroanesthesiologists. The aim of this study was to investigate whether implementation of the protocol in 2015 decreased total hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS) and complication rates after elective complex spine surgery.Materials and Methods:A retrospective cohort study was conducted by review of the medical charts of patients who underwent elective complex spine surgery at an academic medical center between 2012 and 2017. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on the date of their spine surgery in relation to implementation of the spine surgery protocol; before-protocol (January 2012 to March 2015) and protocol (April 2015 to March 2017) groups. Outcomes in the 2 groups were compared, focusing on hospital and ICU LOS, and complication rates.Results:A total of 201 patients were included in the study; 107 and 94 in the before-protocol and protocol groups, respectively. Mean (SD) hospital LOS was 14.8±10.8 days in the before-protocol group compared with 10±10.7 days in the protocol group (P<0.001). The spine surgery protocol was the primary factor decreasing hospital LOS; incidence rate ratio 0.78 (P<0.001). Similarly, mean ICU LOS was lower in the protocol compared with before-protocol group (4.2±6.3 vs. 6.3±7.3 d, respectively; P=0.011). There were no significant differences in the rate of postoperative complications between the 2 groups (P=0.231).Conclusion:Implementation of a spine protocol reduced ICU and total hospital LOS stay in high-risk spine surgery patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Complicated spine
  • High-risk spine
  • Intraoperative protocol
  • Perioperative care


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