Objective Vascular surgeons may aid in primarily nonvascular procedures. Such activity has not been quantified, and hospital administrators may be unaware of the importance of vascular surgeons to support other hospital-based surgical programs. This study reviewed intraoperative consultations by vascular surgeons to support other surgical services. Methods Intraoperative vascular consultations were reviewed from January 2006 to January 2014 for consulting service, indication, and whether consultation occurred with advanced notice. Patient demographics, operative times, estimated blood loss, length of stay, and relative value units (RVUs) assigned for each consultation were also assessed. Consultations for trauma and iatrogenic injuries occurring outside the operating theater were excluded. Results Vascular surgeons performed 225 intraoperative consultations in support of procedures by nonvascular surgeons. Requesting services were surgical oncology (46%), orthopedics (17%), urology (11%), otolaryngology (7%), and others (19%). Reasons for consultation overlapped and included vascular reconstruction (53%), control of hemorrhage (39%), and assistance with difficult dissections (43%). Seventy-four percent were for intra-abdominal procedures, and venous (53%) and arterial (50%) problems were encountered equally with some overlap. Most patients were male (59%), overweight (56%; body mass index ≥25 kg/m2), had previous surgery (72%) and were undergoing elective procedures (89%). Mean total procedural anesthesia time was 9.4 hours, mean procedural operating time was 7.9 hours, and mean total and vascular-related estimated blood loss was 1702 mL and 327 mL, respectively. Mean length of stay was 14.7 days, mean intensive care unit stay was 2.9 days, and 30-day mortality was 6.2%. Mean nonvascular RVUs per operation were 46.0, and mean vascular RVUs per operation were 30.9. Conclusions Unexpected intraoperative need for vascular surgical expertise occurs often enough that vascular surgeons should be regarded as an essential operating room resource to the general operating room, nonvascular surgeons, and their patients. Intraoperative vascular surgical consultation in support of other surgeons requires a high level of open technical operative skills and is time and labor intensive.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine