Postoperative visual loss

Incidence in general surgical population is 1 in 61,000.

Incidence in spinal surgery 1 in 1,100, 50-fold higher than other procedures, also open heart surgery, head and neck surgery and sinus surgery associated with a higher risk of postoperative visual loss.

Cardiac and spinal fusion surgeries have the highest incidence.

Patients undergoing spinal fusion have a greater than four times likelihood of experiencing postoperative visual loss then individuals undergoing abdominal surgery (Shem Y et al).

Incidence rates during spinal surgery range from 0 to 0.2%.

Patients that undergo thrown spinal fusion surgery have two times the likelihood of having post-operative visual loss than those undergoing anterior spinal fusions.

Patients at highest risk for POVL are those with prolonged surgeries of greater than six hours and blood loss of greater than 1000 mL (Lee LA et al).

No consistent mechanism of causation.

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