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Am Surg. 2017 Nov 1;83(11):1214-1219.

Peripheral Nerve Injury during Abdominal-Pelvic Surgery: Analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database.


Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is a rare but preventable complication of surgery. We sought to assess whether the use of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) affects the occurrence of PNI. Using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database, we examined rates of PNI among patients undergoing appendectomy, hysterectomy, colectomy, or radical prostatectomy between 2005 and 2012. We assessed the effect of MIS, as compared with open surgery, on PNI occurrence using logistic regression. Among 297,532 patients, of whom 175,884 (59.1%) underwent MIS, the rate of PNI was 0.03 per cent. Forty-four patients treated using MIS had PNI (0.03%) as compared with 63 who underwent open surgery (0.05%; P = 0.0002). There was a significant decrease in the proportion of surgeries resulting in PNI (P < 0.0001) over time. In univariate analysis, MIS was associated with a decreased occurrence of PNI (odds ratio 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.33-0.71), but this became nonsignificant on multivariable analysis (odds ratio 0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.47-1.09). Increased operative time and smoking status were the only factors independently associated with an increased risk of PNI on multivariable analysis. MIS techniques during common abdominal-pelvic surgeries do not appear to increase the risk of PNI. Prolonged operative time and smoking are independently associated with an increased risk of PNI. Quality improvement initiatives to increase awareness of PNI and identify patients at increased risk of this preventable complication should be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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