There’s currently a debate in the medical industry regarding the safety of concurrent surgeries—multiple surgical procedures that are performed at the same time in separate operating rooms with one main, overseeing surgeon that travels back and forth between the different patients as it’s safe to do so. For years, doctors and hospitals have argued that concurrent surgeries, often referred to as double-booked surgeries, are safe. Now a new major hip operation study is suggesting differently.
The study looked at over 90,0000 orthopedic hip surgeries at 75 hospitals in Ontario, Canada. It was discovered that the longer the duration of overlap between surgeries, the more likely patients were to suffer from complications within a year after the procedure. These complications included infections and the need for a second surgery.
Researchers found that the complication rate for patients undergoing hip replacement surgery or surgery for hip fractures rose 80-90% if a surgeon was overseeing two operations for as little as 30 minutes. To be exact, the risk of complications rose 7% for every 10 minutes of overlap. Most hip surgeries overlapped for 30 to 60 minutes, the researchers found, but many overlapped for periods as long as 3 hours.