Effects of body mass index on perioperative outcomes in patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery

Roberto J. Perez-Roman, David McCarthy, Evan M. Luther, Julian G. Lugo-Pico, Roberto Leon-Correa, Wendy Gaztanaga, Karthik Madhavan, Steven Vanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Obesity has become a public health crisis and continues to be on the rise. An elevated body mass index has been linked to higher rates of spinal degenerative disease requiring surgical intervention. Limited studies exist that evaluate the effects of obesity on perioperative complications in patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Our study aims to determine the incidence of obesity in the ACDF population and the effects it may have on postoperative inpatient complications. Methods: The National Inpatient Sample was evaluated from 2004 to 2014 and discharges with International Classification of Diseases procedure codes indicating ACDF were identified. This cohort was stratified into patients with diagnosis codes indicating obesity. Separate univariable followed by multivariable logistic regression analysis were performed for the likelihood of perioperative inpatient outcomes among the patients with obesity. Results: From 2004 to 2014, estimated 1,212,475 ACDFs were identified in which 9.2% of the patients were obese. The incidence of obesity amongst ACDF patients has risen dramatically during those years from 5.8% to 13.4%. Obese ACDF patients had higher inpatient likelihood of dysphagia, neurological, respiratory, and hematologic complications as well as pulmonary emboli, and intraoperative durotomy. Conclusion: Obesity is a well-established modifiable comorbidity that leads to increased perioperative complications in various surgical specialties. We present one of the largest retrospective analyses evaluating the effects of obesity on inpatient complications following ACDF. Our data suggest that the number of obese patients undergoing ACDF is steadily in-creasing and had a higher inpatient likelihood of developing perioperative complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Cervical discectomy
  • Inpatient
  • Morbidity
  • Obesity
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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