Mayo Clinic researchers have come out in support of having surgeons work 2 cases at once in neighboring ORs, calling the practice safe, efficient and good for patients.
There were no differences in rates of post-op complications or death in the month following surgery among more than 10,500 overlapping surgeries and approximately 16,000 non-overlapping procedures, according to the findings, which were published in the Annals of Surgery.
"Our data show that overlapping surgery as practiced here is safe," says study co-author Robert Cima, MD, a colorectal surgeons and chair of surgical quality at the Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. "We think it provides value to our patients, because it allows more patients timely access to surgery and care by expert teams."
Overlapping procedures involve staggered start times so surgeons are present for critical stages of surgery in both ORs and immediately available to back up assistants who handle non-critical phases such as wound closure.
The new findings come on the heels of another study that touted the safety and efficiency of overlapping orthopedic surgeries in the ambulatory setting. Both reports were released approximately a year after the practice of surgeons running 2 ORs at the same came under increased scrutiny when the Boston Globe ran an expose on concurrent surgeries performed at Massachusetts General Hospital.