December 20, 2018

Overlapping surgery is defined as a surgery where a single surgeon is the primary surgeon for more than one patient in separate operating rooms, at the same time. The surgeon is present for the critical parts of the surgery, and another surgeon will perform the noncritical portions. Overlapping surgeries are commonly used to reduce surgical costs, provide better access to renowned surgeons, and train fellows and residents.

The safety of overlapping surgery has been a heavily discussed topic among recent media reports. Recently, our surgeons have published a number of studies that have demonstrating the safety of overlapping surgery for orthopedic procedures in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Charles Goldfarb, MD

Robert Brophy, MDThe most recent article, Complications Following Overlapping Orthopaedic Procedures at an Ambulatory Surgery Center, was written by Charles Goldfarb, MD, Robert Brophy, MD,, and published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS). Their study evaluated 22,000 outpatient orthopedic procedures performed between 2009 and 2015. Of the 22,000 surgeries, 23% were briefly overlapping, and 77% of them were nonoverlapping. The results found that there was not an increase of post-surgical complications in the overlapping surgery group. 


The JBJS video below clearly summarizes the details and results of their study. Click here for the full article.


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