Objective: This study looks at the various comorbidities and postoperative complications and their impact on readmission rates of patients undergoing outpatient versus inpatient 1- and 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). With increasing costs within the United States medical system, one emerging cost-saving strategy is to evolve traditional inpatient procedures into outpatient same-day surgeries. However, patient safety remains a crucial priority. Methods: A total of 28,427 patients were analyzed, with 26,368 undergoing inpatient ACDF surgery and 2059 undergoing outpatient ACDF surgery. Age, sex, comorbidities, postoperative complications, readmission rates, and overall financial cost were compared between both cohorts. Results: Data from 28,427 one- and two-level ACDF procedures that were split between inpatient and outpatient were collected. Thirty-day readmission rates were significantly lower in outpatients than inpatients (4% vs. 10.1%, P < 0.001). Inpatients had higher rates of urinary tract infection (2.4% vs. 1.4%), deep vein thrombosis (0.6% vs. 0%), and myocardial infarction (0.2% vs. 0%), whereas outpatients had higher rates of pulmonary embolism (7.7% vs. 0.4%). Outpatients had increased readmission risk with comorbidities of diabetes (odds ratio [OR], 48.93; P < 0.001), smoking (OR, 4.6; P < 0.001), body mass index ≥30 (OR, 2392; P < 0.001). The average cost of outpatient surgery was less than that of inpatient surgery ($7774.8 vs. $7956.75, P = 0.0444). Conclusion: This study suggests that in the appropriately selected patients, ACDF can safely be performed in an outpatient setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology