Plastic Surgeon Closure of Index Spinal Cases: A Single-Institution Review of 928 Cases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose:The role of the plastic surgeon in wound management following complications from prior spinal surgeries is well established. The present study evaluates wound complications following plastic surgeon closure of the primary spinal surgery in a large patient population.Methods:Spinal surgeries closed by a single plastic surgeon at a large academic hospital were reviewed. Descriptive statistics were applied and outcomes in this sample were compared with previously published outcomes using 2-sample z tests.Results:Nine hundred twenty-eight surgeries were reviewed, of which 782 were included. Seven hundred fifteen operations were for degenerative conditions of the spine, 22 for trauma, 30 for neoplasms, and 14 for congenital conditions. Four hundred twenty-one were lumbosacral procedures (53.8%) and 361 (46.2%) cervical. Fourteen patients (1.8%) required readmission with 30 days. This compares favorably to a pooled analysis of 488049 patients, in which the 30-day readmission rate was found to be 5.5% (z=4.5, P<0.0001). Seven patients (0.89%) had wound infection and 3 (0.38%) wound dehiscence postoperatively, compared with a study of 22,430 patients in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database who had an infection incidence of 2.2% (z=2.5, P=0.0132) and 0.3% dehiscence rate (z=0.4, P=0.6889). The combined incidence of wound complications in the present sample, 1.27%, was less than the combined incidence of wound complications in the population of 22,430 patients (z=2.2, P=0.029).Conclusions:Thirty-day readmissions and wound complications are intensely scrutinized quality metrics that may lead to reduced reimbursements and other penalties for hospitals. Plastic surgeon closure of index spinal cases decreases these adverse outcomes. Further research must be done to determine whether the increased cost of plastic surgeon involvement in these cases is offset by the savings represented by fewer readmissions and complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E397-E402
JournalClinical Spine Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • closure
  • complications
  • plastic
  • spine
  • surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Plastic Surgeon Closure of Index Spinal Cases: A Single-Institution Review of 928 Cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this