Post-operative dysphagia following ventral cervical approach: complication or side-effect? Retrospective analysis and review of the literature

Gil Kimchi, Nofar Michaeli, Maya Nulman, Nachshon Knoller, Tomer Maimon, Ran Harel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To ameliorate the clinical decision-making process when debating between a ventral or dorsal cervical approach by elucidating whether post-operative dysphagia be regarded as a complication or a transient side effect. Methods: A literature review of studies comparing complication rates following ventral and dorsal cervical approaches was performed. A stratified complication rate excluding dysphagia was calculated and discussed. A retrospective cohort of patients operated for degenerative cervical myelopathy in a single institution comprising 665 patients was utilized to analyze complication rates using a uniform definition for dysphagia. Results: Both the ventral and the dorsal approach groups exhibited comparable neurological improvement rates. Since transient dysphagia was not considered a complication, the dorsal approach was associated with higher level of overall complications. Conclusions and relevance: Inconsistencies in the definition of dysphagia following ventral cervical surgery impedes the interpretation of trials comparing dorsal and ventral complication rates. A uniform definition for complications and side effects may enhance the validity of medical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-89
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ACDF
  • cervical discectomy
  • cervical spine surgery
  • complications
  • dorsal approach
  • dysphagia
  • ventral approach

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