NYMC Faculty Publications


Evaluation of Complications and Costs During Overlapping Transsphenoidal Surgery in the Treatment of Pituitary Adenoma

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June 2018




BACKGROUND: Pituitary adenomas are among the most common primary brain tumors. Recently, overlapping surgery has been curbed in many institutions because of the suggestion there might be more significant adverse events, despite several studies showing that complication rates are equivalent. OBJECTIVE: To assess complications and costs associated with overlapping surgery during the transsphenoidal resection of pituitary adenomas. METHODS: A single-center, retrospective cohort study was performed to evaluate the cases of patients who underwent a transsphenoidal approach for pituitary tumor resection. Patient, surgical, complication, and cost (value-driven outcome) variables were analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 629 patients (302 nonoverlapping, 327 overlapping cases) were identified. No significant differences in age (P = .6), sex (P = .5), tumor type (P = .5), or prior rates of pituitary adenoma resection (P = .5) were seen. Similar presenting symptoms were observed in the 2 groups, and follow-up length was comparable (P = .3). No differences in tumor sizes (P = .5), operative time (P = .4), fat/fascia use (P = .4), or cerebrospinal fluid diversion (P = .8) were seen between groups. The gross total resection rate was not significantly different (P = .9), and no difference in recurrence rate was seen (P = .4). A comparable complication rate was seen between groups (P = .6). No differences in total or subtotal costs were seen either. CONCLUSION: The results of this study offer additional evidence that overlapping surgery does not result in worsened complications, lengthened surgery, or increased patient cost for patients undergoing transsphenoidal resection of pituitary adenomas. Thus, studies and policy aiming to improve patient safety and cost should focus on optimizing other aspects of healthcare delivery.