Publications by authors named "Philip P Goodney"

272 Publications

Exploring the Rapid Expansion of Office-Based Laboratories and Peripheral Vascular Interventions Across the United States.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Feb 19. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Surgery, Section of Vascular Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Objective: To characterize the relationship between office-based laboratory utilization and Medicare payments for peripheral vascular interventions.

Methods: Using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Provider Utilization and Payment Data Public Use Files from 2014 to 2017, we identified providers who performed percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), stent placement (stent), and atherectomy. Procedures were aggregated at the provider and hospital referral region (HRR) level.

Results: Between 2014 and 2017, 2,641 providers performed 308,247 procedures. Mean payment for OBL stent in 2017 was $4383.39, while mean payment for OBL atherectomy was $13079.63. Change in mean payment varied significantly, from a decrease of $16.97 in HRR 146 to an increase of $43.77 per beneficiary over the study period in HRR 11. Change in the rate of PVI also varied substantially, and moderately correlated with change in payment across HRRs (R=0.40, p<0.001). The majority of HRRs experienced an increase in rate of PVI within OBLs, which strongly correlated with changes in payments (R=0.85, p<0.001). Furthermore, 85% of the variance in change in payment was explained by increases in OBL atherectomy (p<0.001).

Conclusion: A rapid shift into the office setting for PVIs occurred within some HRRs which was highly geographically variable and was strongly correlated with payments. Policymakers should revisit the current payment structure for OBL utilization, and, in particular atherectomy, to better align the policy with the intended goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2021.01.061DOI Listing
February 2021

Association of Adoption of Transcarotid Artery Revascularization With Center-Level Perioperative Outcomes.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Feb 1;4(2):e2037885. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Importance: Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) may serve as a safer alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for certain patients with carotid artery stenosis.

Objective: To determine the center-level association of TCAR adoption with overall perioperative outcomes for TCAR and CEA combined at centers performing both procedures.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This comparative-effectiveness research was conducted with a difference-in-difference analysis using retrospective data from 2015 to 2019 from the Vascular Quality Initiative registry, a consortium of more than 400 centers in North America. Included patients underwent TCAR or CEA for carotid artery stenosis. Patients who underwent transfemoral carotid stenting were excluded. Data were analyzed from December 2019 through August 2020.

Exposures: Center-level adoption of TCAR vs not.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), a composite of in-hospital stroke, myocardial infarction, or death at 30 days, was measured.

Results: Among 86 027 patients who underwent revascularization for carotid artery stenosis, 7664 patients (8.9%) underwent TCAR (mean [SD] age, 73.1 [9.6] years; 2788 [36.4%] women; 6938 White patients [90.6%]; and 3741 patients with symptoms [48.8%]) and 78 363 patients (91.1%) underwent CEA (mean [SD] age, 70.6 [9.2] years; 30 928 [39.5%] women; 70 663 White patients [90.2%]; and 37 883 patients with symptoms [48.3%]). The number of centers performing both TCAR and CEA increased from 15 centers in 2015 to 247 centers in 2019, a more than 16-fold increase. The proportion of all carotid procedures that were TCARs increased from 90 of 12 276 (0.7%) in 2015 to 2718 of 15 956 (17.0%) in 2019, a 24-fold increase. Overall, the crude rate of MACE was similar for TCAR and CEA (178 patients [2.3%] after TCAR vs 1842 patients [2.4%] after CEA; P = .91). However, the rate of MACE over time decreased for CEA (406 of 16 404 patients [2.5%] in 2015 vs 189 of 10 097 patients [1.9%] in 2019; P for trend < .001). The rate of MACE over time decreased for TCAR as well, but the change was not statistically significant (4 of 128 patients [3.1%] in 2016 vs 59 of 2718 patients [2.2%] in 2019; P for trend = .07). Difference-in-difference analysis demonstrated that centers that adopted TCAR had a 10% decrease in the likelihood of MACE at 12 months after TCAR adoption vs if those centers had continued to perform CEA alone (odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81-0.99; P = .04).

Conclusions And Relevance: This comparative-effectiveness study of a cohort of patients who underwent TCAR or CEA found that availability of TCAR at a hospital was associated with a decrease in the likelihood of perioperative MACE after carotid revascularization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.37885DOI Listing
February 2021

Corrigendum to "A Comparison of Surgical Quality and Patient Satisfaction Indicators between VA Hospitals and Hospitals Near VA Hospitals": Journal of Surgical Research (2020) 255:255-345 (Online Ahead of Print).

J Surg Res 2020 Dec 23;256:703. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire; Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.08.016DOI Listing
December 2020

The Next Step in Type B Aortic Dissection.

J Am Coll Surg 2021 Jan;232(1):53-54

Lebanon, NH.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2020.10.002DOI Listing
January 2021

Editor's Choice - Protamine Reduces Serious Bleeding Complications Associated with Carotid Endarterectomy in Asymptomatic Patients without Increasing the Risk of Stroke, Myocardial Infarction, or Death in a Large National Analysis.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 Dec 27;60(6):800-807. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Division of Vascular Surgery & Endovascular Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Objective: Controversy persists regarding the use of protamine during carotid endarterectomy (CEA), despite real world evidence to support its use. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of protamine reversal of heparin anticoagulation on the outcome of CEA in the USA.

Methods: A prospective national registry (Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative) of 72 787 patients undergoing elective asymptomatic CEA by 1879 surgeons from 316 centres in the USA and Canada from 2012 to 2018 was reviewed. Protamine use varied by both surgeon (20% rare use [< 10%], 30% variable use [11%-79%], 50% routine use [> 80% cases]) and geographical region (44% vs. 96%). Temporal trends in protamine use were also determined. End points included post-operative re-operation for bleeding, as well as potential protamine related thrombotic complications, including stroke, death, and myocardial infarction (MI). Predictors of end points were determined by multivariable logistic regression. Propensity matching was additionally used to control for differences between groups.

Results: Of the 72 787 patients who underwent CEA, 69% received protamine, while 31% did not. Protamine use increased over time from 60% (2012) to 73% (2018). In total, 378 patients (0.7%) in the protamine treated group underwent re-operation for bleeding vs. 342 patients (1.4%) in the untreated cohort (p < .001). Protamine use did not affect the rate of MI (0.7% vs. 0.8%; p = .023), stroke (1.1% vs. 1.0%; p = .20), or in hospital death (0.2% vs. 0.2%; p = 0.70) between treated and untreated patients, respectively. On multivariable analysis, protamine use was independently associated with reduced risk of re-operation for bleeding (odds ratio 0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.39-0.55; p < .001). Independent of protamine exposure, the consequences of a return to the operating room (RTOR) for bleeding were statistically significant, with a sevenfold increase in MI (RTOR 4.9% vs. no RTOR 0.7%; p < .001), an eightfold increase in stroke (RTOR 7.2% vs. no RTOR 0.9%; p < .001), and a 13 fold increase in death (RTOR 2.4% vs. no RTOR 0.2%; p < .001).

Conclusion: Protamine reduces serious bleeding complications at the time of CEA without increasing the risk of MI, stroke, or death, in this large North American analysis. Based on this and previous regional work regarding protamine use in CEA, it is believed that there is now sufficient evidence to support its routine use, and it should be considered as a benchmark for quality during CEA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2020.08.047DOI Listing
December 2020

Association of state tobacco control policies with active smoking at the time of intervention for intermittent claudication.

J Vasc Surg 2020 Oct 21. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:

Objective: Active smoking among patients undergoing interventions for intermittent claudication (IC) is associated with poor outcomes. Notwithstanding, current levels of active smoking in these patients are high. State-level tobacco control policies have been shown to reduce smoking in the general US population. We evaluated whether state cigarette taxes and 100% smoke-free workplace legislation are associated with active smoking among patients undergoing interventions for IC.

Methods: We queried the Vascular Quality Initiative database for peripheral endovascular interventions, infrainguinal bypasses, and suprainguinal bypasses for IC. Active smoking at the time of intervention was defined as smoking within one month of intervention. We implemented difference-in-differences analysis to isolate changes in active smoking owing to cigarette taxes (adjusted for inflation) and implementation of smoke-free workplace legislation. The difference-in-differences models estimated the causal effects of tobacco policies by adjusting for concurrent temporal trends in active smoking unrelated to cigarette taxes or smoke-free workplace legislation. The models controlled for age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance type, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, state, and year. We tested interactions of taxes with age and insurance.

Results: Data were available for 59,847 patients undergoing interventions for IC in 25 states from 2011 to 2019. Across the study period, active smoking at the time of intervention decreased from 48% to 40%. Every $1.00 cigarette tax increase was associated with a 6-percentage point decrease in active smoking (95% confidence interval, -10 to -1 percentage points; P = .02), representing an 11% decrease relative to the baseline proportion of patients actively smoking. The effect of cigarettes taxes was greater in older patients and those on Medicare. Among patients aged 60 to 69 and 70 to 79 years, every $1.00 tax increase resulted in 14% and 21% reductions in active smoking relative to baseline subgroup prevalences of 53% and 29%, respectively (P < .05 for both); however, younger age groups were not affected by tax increases. Among insurance groups, only patients on Medicare exhibited a significant change in active smoking with every $1.00 tax increase (an 18% decrease relative to a 33% baseline prevalence; P = .01). The number of states implementing smoke-free workplace legislation increased from 9 to 14 by 2019; however, this policy was not significantly associated with active smoking prevalence. At follow-up (median, 12.9 months), $1.00 tax increases were still associated with decreased smoking prevalence (a 25% decrease relative to a 33% baseline prevalence; P < .001).

Conclusions: Cigarette tax increases seem to be an effective strategy to decrease active smoking among patients undergoing interventions for IC. Older patients and Medicare recipients are the most responsive to tax increases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.08.156DOI Listing
October 2020

Registry Assessment of Peripheral Interventional Devices Objective Performance Goals for Superficial Femoral and Popliteal Artery Peripheral Vascular Interventions.

J Vasc Surg 2020 Oct 17. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Section of Vascular Surgery and the Dartmouth Institute, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Background: The Superficial Femoral Artery-Popliteal EvidencE Development (SPEED) Study Group developed contemporary objective performance goals (OPG) for peripheral vascular interventions (PVI) for superficial femoral (SFA)-popliteal artery disease utilizing the Registry Assessment of Peripheral Interventional Devices (RAPID).

Methods: The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) PVI Registry from January 2010-October 2016 was used to develop OPGs based on SFA-popliteal procedures (N= 21, 377) for claudication (IC) and critical limb ischemia (CLI). OPGs included one-year rates for target lesion revascularization (TLR), major amputation, and one and four-year survival. OPGs were calculated for the SFA and popliteal arteries and stratified by four treatments: angioplasty alone (PTA), self-expanding stenting, atherectomy, and any treatment type.. Outcomes were illustrated by unadjusted Kaplan-Meier analyses.

Results: Cohorts included PTA (N= 7,505), stenting (N= 9,217), atherectomy (N= 2,510) and any treatment (N= 21,377). The mean age was 69 years, 58% were male, 79% were white and 52% had CLI. The freedom from TLR OPGs at one year in the SFA were 80.3% (PTA), 83.2% (stenting), 83.9% (atherectomy), and 81.9% (any treatments). The freedom from TLR OPGs at one year in the popliteal were 81.3% (PTA), 81.3% (stenting), 80.2% (atherectomy), and 81.1% (any treatments). The freedom from major amputation OPGs at one year after SFA PVI were 93.4% (PTA), 95.7% (stenting), 95.1% (atherectomy), and 94.8%, (any treatments). The freedom from major amputation OPG at one year after popliteal PVI were 90.5% (PTA), 93.7% (stenting), 91.8% (atherectomy), and 91.8%, (any treatments). Four-year survival OPGs after SFA PVI were 76% (PTA), 80% (stenting), 82% (atherectomy), and 79% (any treatments) and for the popliteal artery were 72% (PTA), 77% (stenting), 82% (atherectomy), and 75% (any treatment). In multivariable analysis, which included patient level, leg level and lesion level covariates, CLI was the single independent factor associated with increased TLR, amputation and mortality.

Conclusions: The SPEED OPGs define a new, contemporary benchmark for SFA-popliteal interventions utilizing a large subset of real-world evidence to inform more efficient peripheral device clinical trial designs to support regulatory and clinical decision making. It is appropriate to discuss proposals intended for regulatory approval with the FDA to refine the OPG to match the specific trial population. The OPGs may be updated using coordinated registry networks to assess long-term real-world device performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.09.030DOI Listing
October 2020

Deep Learning and Multivariable Models Select EVAR Patients for Short-Stay Discharge.

Vasc Endovascular Surg 2021 Jan 10;55(1):18-25. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

The Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 8784University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Objectives: We sought to develop a prediction score with data from the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) EVAR in efforts to assist endovascular specialists in deciding whether or not a patient is appropriate for short-stay discharge.

Background: Small series describe short-stay discharge following elective EVAR. Our study aims to quantify characteristics associated with this decision.

Methods: The VQI EVAR and NSQIP datasets were queried. Patients who underwent elective EVAR recorded in VQI, between 1/2010-5/2017 were split 2:1 into test and analytic cohorts via random number assignment. Cross-reference with the Medicare claims database confirmed all-cause mortality data. Bootstrap sampling was employed in model. Deep learning algorithms independently evaluated each dataset as a sensitivity test.

Results: Univariate outcomes, including 30-day survival, were statistically worse in the DD group when compared to the SD group (all P < 0.05). A prediction score, SD-EVAR, derived from the VQI EVAR dataset including pre- and intra-op variables that discriminate between SD and DD was externally validated in NSQIP (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.79, P < 0.001); deep learning analysis concurred. This score suggests 66% of EVAR patients may be appropriate for short-stay discharge. A free smart phone app calculating short-stay discharge potential is available through QxMD Calculate https://qxcalc.app.link/vqidis.

Conclusions: Selecting patients for short-stay discharge after EVAR is possible without increasing harm. The majority of infrarenal AAA patients treated with EVAR in the United States fit a risk profile consistent with short-stay discharge, representing a significant cost-savings potential to the healthcare system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1538574420954299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792630PMC
January 2021

Medicare reimbursement of lower extremity bypass does not cover cost of care for most patients with critical limb ischemia.

J Vasc Surg 2020 09;72(3):1068-1074

Section of Vascular Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH. Electronic address:

Objective: Lower extremity bypass surgery remains an important treatment option for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI), but is resource intensive. We sought to evaluate the cost and Medicare reimbursement for lower extremity bypass surgery in patients with CLI.

Methods: Hospital cost accounting systems were queried for total technical and professional costs incurred and reimbursement received for patients with CLI undergoing lower extremity bypass at our center between 2011 and 2017. Patients were identified by assignment to Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) 252, 253, or 254 (other vascular procedure with major complication/comorbidity, with complication/comorbidity, and without complication/comorbidity, respectively). Additional clinical data were incorporated from the Vascular Quality Initiative clinical registry. For non-Medicare patients, reimbursement was indexed to Medicare rates. Contribution margins (reimbursement minus cost) from technical and professional services were analyzed for each patient and summarized by DRG. We compared technical, professional, and total costs; reimbursement; and contribution margins across DRGs using univariate statistics and evaluated factors associated with total contribution margin using median quantile regression.

Results: We analyzed 68 patients with hemodynamically confirmed CLI (46% rest pain, 54% tissue loss), of whom 25% received a prosthetic graft. Mean age was 66.1 ± 11.6 years, 69% were male, 49% diabetic, 44% current smokers, and 4% on dialysis. In general, total infrainguinal bypass cost was adequately compensated for patients assigned only the most complex DRG 252 (median, $2490; interquartile range [IQR], -$1,621 to $10,080). In the majority of patients with less complex DRG 253 (median, -$3,100; IQR, -$8499 to $109) and DRG 254 (median, -$4902; IQR, -$9259 to $1059), reimbursement did not cover the cost of care. Both technical costs and professional costs varied significantly with the complexity of DRG. Although reimbursement from technical services increased alongside increasing complexity of DRG, there was insignificant variation in professional reimbursement as DRG complexity increased. On multivariable modeling, longer length of stay (-$2547 per additional day) and preoperative dialysis (-$5555) were significantly associated with negative margins.

Conclusions: For the majority of patients with CLI, current Medicare reimbursement does not adequately cover the cost of providing care after open bypass surgery. As commercial insurers move toward Medicare reimbursement rates, more granular risk stratification profiles are needed to ensure open surgical care for patients with CLI remains financially sustainable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.01.062DOI Listing
September 2020

Burden and causes of readmissions following initial discharge after aortic syndromes.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Mar 30;73(3):836-843.e3. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Gonda Vascular Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Electronic address:

Background: Aortic syndromes, including aortic dissection (AD), intramural hematoma (IMH), and penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU), carry significant morbidity and mortality; few data exist regarding burden and causes of related rehospitalizations following initial discharge.

Methods: The study was conducted using the Rochester Epidemiology Project. All adult residents (age ≥18 years) with an incident diagnosis of AD, IMH, and PAU (1995-2015) were identified from the Rochester Epidemiology Project using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Tenth Revision codes and Hospital Adaptation of the International Classification of Diseases, second edition, codes. Assessment of any-cause (aortic and cardiovascular), aorta-related, or cardiovascular-related readmissions was determined following date of hospital discharge or diagnosis date (ie, the index event).

Results: A total of 117 patients of 130 cases of AD, IMH, and PAU included in the initial study population survived the index event and were evaluated. The median age of diagnosis was 74 years, and 70 (60%) were male. A total of 79 patients (68%) experienced at least one readmission. The median time to first any-cause, cardiovascular, and aortic readmission was 143, 861, and 171 days, respectively. The cumulative incidence of any-cause readmissions at 2, 4, and 10 years was 45%, 55%, and 69%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of cardiovascular readmissions at 2, 4, and 10 years was 15%, 20%, and 28%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of aortic readmissions at 2, 4, and 10 years was 38%, 46%, and 59%, respectively. Overall survival for the entire cohort at 2, 4, and 10 years was 84%, 75%, and 50%, respectively.

Conclusions: Readmissions following initial discharge after diagnosis of aortic syndrome are common and not different across specific disease types. Whereas aorta-related rehospitalizations occur in more than half of patients but tend to be earlier, cardiovascular-related rehospitalizations tend to happen later in about one-third of patients. This may suggest the need for early follow-up focused on aortic complications, whereas later follow-up should address cardiovascular events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.05.080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855808PMC
March 2021

The financial evolution of endovascular aneurysm repair delivery in contemporary practice.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Mar 21;73(3):1062-1066. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Objective: The fiscal impact of endovascular repair (EVR) of aortic aneurysms and the requisite device costs have previously highlighted the tenuous long-term financial sustainability among Medicare beneficiaries. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have since reclassified EVR remuneration paradigms with new Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs) intended to better address the procedure's cost profile. The impact of this change remains unknown. The purpose of this analysis was to compare EVR-specific costs and revenue among Medicare beneficiaries both before and after this change.

Methods: All infrarenal EVRs performed in fiscal years (FYs) 2014 and 2015, before the MS-DRG change, and those performed in FYs 2017 and 2018, after the MS-DRG change, were identified using the DRG codes 238 (n = 108) and 269 (n = 84), respectively. We then identified those who were treated according to the instructions for use guidelines with a single manufacturer's device and billed to Medicare (n = 23 in FY14-15; n = 22 in FY17-18). From these cohorts, we determined total procedure technical costs, technical revenue, and net technical margin in conjunction with the hospital finance department. Results were then compared between these two groups.

Results: The two cohorts demonstrated similar demographic profiles (FY14-15 vs FY17-18 cohort: age, 78 years vs 74 years; median length of stay, 1.0 day vs 1.0 day). Mean total technical costs were slightly higher in the FY17-18 group ($24,511 in FY14-15 vs $26,445 in FY17-18). Graft implants continued to account for a significant portion of the total cost, with the device cost accounting for 56% of the total procedure costs in both cohorts. Net revenue was greater in the FY17-18 group by $5800 ($30,698 in FY14-15 vs $36,498 in FY17-18), resulting in an increased overall margin in the FY17-18 group compared with the FY14-15 group ($6188 in FY14-15 vs $10,053 in FY17-18).

Conclusions: Device costs remain the single greatest cost driver associated with EVR delivery. DRG reclassification of EVR to address total procedure and implant costs appears to better address the requisite associated procedure costs and may thereby better support long-term fiscal sustainability of this procedure for hospitals and health systems alike.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.06.117DOI Listing
March 2021

Association between surgeon case volume and years of practice experience with open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair outcomes.

J Vasc Surg 2020 Jul 22. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Background: Widespread adoption of endovascular aneurysm repair has led to a consequential decline in the use of open aneurysm repair (OAR). This evolution has had significant ramifications on vascular surgery training paradigms and contemporary practice patterns among established surgeons. Despite being the subject of previous analyses, the surgical volume-outcome relationship has remained a focus of controversy. At present, little is known about the complex interaction of case volume and surgeon experience with patient selection, procedural characteristics, and postoperative complications of OAR. The purpose of the present analysis was to examine the association between surgeon annual case volume and years of practice experience with OAR.

Methods: All infrarenal OARs (n = 11,900; elective, 70%; nonelective, 30%) included in the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative from 2003 to 2019 were examined. Surgeon experience was defined as years in practice after training. The experience level at repair was categorized chronologically (≤5 years, n = 1667; 6-10 years, n = 1887; 11-15 years, n = 1806; ≥16 years, n = 6540). The annual case volume was determined by the number of OARs performed by the surgeon annually (median, five cases). Logistic regression was used to perform risk adjustment of the outcomes across surgeon experience and volume (five or fewer vs more than five cases annually) strata for in-hospital major complications and 30-day and 1-year mortality.

Results: Practice experience had no association with unadjusted mortality (30-day death: elective, P = .2; nonelective, P = .3; 1-year death: elective, P = .2; nonelective, P = .2). However, more experienced surgeons had fewer complications after elective OAR (25% with ≥16 years vs 29% with ≤5 years; P = .004). A significant linear correlation was identified between increasing surgeon experience and performance of a greater proportion of elective OAR (P-trend < .0001). Risk adjustment (area under the curve, 0.776) revealed that low-volume (five or fewer cases annually) surgeons had inferior outcomes compared with high-volume surgeons across the experience strata for all presentations. In addition, high-volume, early career surgeons (≤5 years' experience) had outcomes similar to those of older, low-volume surgeons (P > .1 for all pairwise comparisons). Early career surgeons (≤5 years) had operated on a greater proportion of elective patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists class ≥4 (35% vs 30% [≥16 years' experience]; P = .0003) and larger abdominal aortic aneurysm diameters (mean, 62 vs 59 mm [≥16 years' experience]; P < .0001) compared with all other experience categories. Similarly, the use of a suprarenal cross-clamp occurred more frequently (26% vs 22% [≥16 years' experience]; P = .0009) but the total procedure time, estimated blood loss, and renal and/or visceral ischemia times were all greater for less experienced surgeons (P-trend < .0001).

Conclusions: Annual case volume appeared to be more significantly associated with OAR outcomes compared with the cumulative years of practice experience. To ensure optimal OAR outcomes, mentorship strategies for "on-boarding" early career, as well as established, low-volume, aortic aneurysm repair surgeons should be considered. These findings have potential implications for widespread initiatives surrounding regulatory oversight and credentialing paradigms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.07.065DOI Listing
July 2020

Evidence Supporting the Use of Inferior Vena Cava Filters in Patients With Cancer-Coming Into Focus.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 07 1;3(7):e2011942. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.11942DOI Listing
July 2020

Medicare costs for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm treatment in the Vascular Quality Initiative.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Mar 15;73(3):1056-1061. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH.

Background: Reintervention after endovascular repair (EVR) of abdominal aortic aneurysms is common. However, the cumulative financial impact of reintervention after EVR on a national scale is poorly defined. Our objective was to describe the cost to Medicare for aneurysm treatment (EVR plus reinterventions) among a cohort of patients with known follow-up for 5 years after repair.

Methods: We identified patients who underwent EVR within the Vascular Quality Initiative who were linked to their respective Medicare claims file (n = 13,995). We excluded patients who underwent EVR after September 30, 2010, and those who had incomplete Medicare coverage (n = 12,788). The remaining cohort (n = 1207) had complete follow-up until death or 5 years (Medicare data available through September 30, 2015). We then obtained and compiled the corresponding Medicare reimbursement data for the index EVR hospitalization and all subsequent reinterventions.

Results: We studied 1207 Medicare patients who underwent EVR and had known follow-up for reinterventions for 5 years. The mean age was 76.2 years (±7.1 years), 21.6% of patients were female, and 91.1% of procedures were elective. The Kaplan-Meier reintervention rate at 5 years was 18%. Among patients who underwent reintervention, 154 (73.7%) had a single reintervention, 40 (19.1%) had two reinterventions, and 15 (7.2%) had three or more reinterventions. The median cost to Medicare for the index EVR hospitalization was $25,745 (interquartile range, $21,131-$28,774). The median cost for subsequent reinterventions was $22,165 (interquartile range, $17,152-$29,605). The cumulative cost to Medicare of aneurysm treatment (EVR plus reinterventions) increased in a stepwise fashion among patients who underwent multiple reinterventions, with each reintervention being similar in cost to the index EVR.

Conclusions: The overall cost incurred by Medicare to reimburse for each reintervention after EVR is roughly the same as for the initial procedure itself, meaning that Medicare cost projections would be greater than $100,000 for any individual who undergoes an EVR with three reinterventions. The long-term financial impact of EVR must be considered by surgeons, patients, and healthcare systems alike as these cumulative costs may hinder the fiscal viability of an EVR-first therapeutic approach and highlight the need for judicious patient selection paradigms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.06.109DOI Listing
March 2021

A Comparison of Surgical Quality and Patient Satisfaction Indicators Between VA Hospitals and Hospitals Near VA Hospitals.

J Surg Res 2020 11 26;255:339-345. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Department of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire; Department of Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire. Electronic address:

Background: The Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act established a community care program allowing veterans to receive care outside Veteran Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). We sought to compare patient safety and satisfaction indicators from VAMCs and surrounding non-VAMCs (non-VAs).

Methods: We identified VAMCs with at least one non-VA acute care hospital within 25 miles in three geographic regions (West/Southwest, New England, and Deep South). Children's, specialty, and critical access hospitals were excluded. Using publicly available Hospital Compare data, we analyzed VAMC and surrounding non-VA performance in postsurgical patient safety indicator (PSI) events and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient satisfaction scores and hospital star ratings.

Results: The 34 VAMCs performed better than 319 surrounding non-VAs in rates of wound dehiscence, accidental lacerations, and perioperative hemorrhage/hematoma as well as composite PSI rating (P < 0.05). VAMCs performed significantly better than non-VAs (18.0 versus 51.4 events per 1000 patients, P < 0.001) in composite surgery-specific PSIs. When comparing mean linear Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems score star ratings (1-5 scale), VAMCs had similar performance in overall hospital rating compared with non-VAs (3.28 versus 3.38, P = 0.48) and summary rating of hospital stays (2.87 versus 2.92, P = 0.69). When compiled patient satisfaction star ratings were compared, there was no difference (2.96 versus 2.97, P = 0.9). VAMCs performed worse than non-VAs in "would recommend" ratings (2.7 versus 3.13, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: Across disparate regions, VAMCs match or outperform neighboring non-VAs in surgical quality metrics and patient satisfaction ratings. Veterans receiving surgical care at VAMCs may receive equivalent or better care than at non-VAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.05.071DOI Listing
November 2020

Epidemiology and Risk of Amputation in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus and Peripheral Artery Disease.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2020 08 25;40(8):1808-1817. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

From the Heart and Vascular Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) stems from atherosclerosis of lower extremity arteries with resultant arterial narrowing or occlusion. The most severe form of PAD is termed chronic limb-threatening ischemia and carries a significant risk of limb loss and cardiovascular mortality. Diabetes mellitus is known to increase the incidence of PAD, accelerate disease progression, and increase disease severity. Patients with concomitant diabetes mellitus and PAD are at high risk for major complications, such as amputation. Despite a decrease in the overall number of amputations performed annually in the United States, amputation rates among those with both diabetes mellitus and PAD have remained stable or even increased in high-risk subgroups. Within this cohort, there is significant regional, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic variation in amputation risk. Specifically, residents of rural areas, African-American and Native American patients, and those of low socioeconomic status carry the highest risk of amputation. The burden of amputation is severe, with 5-year mortality rates exceeding those of many malignancies. Furthermore, caring for patients with PAD and diabetes mellitus imposes a significant cost to the healthcare system-estimated to range from $84 billion to $380 billion annually. Efforts to improve the quality of care for those with PAD and diabetes mellitus must focus on the subgroups at high risk for amputation and the disparities they face in the receipt of both preventive and interventional cardiovascular care. Better understanding of these social, economic, and structural barriers will prove to be crucial for cardiovascular physicians striving to better care for patients facing this challenging combination of chronic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.120.314595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7377955PMC
August 2020

Population-Based Assessment of Aortic-Related Outcomes in Aortic Dissection, Intramural Hematoma, and Penetrating Aortic Ulcer.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Nov 17;69:62-73. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Background: The aim of the study was to analyze aortic-related outcomes after diagnosis of aortic dissection (AD), intramural hematoma (IMH), and penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU) from a population-based approach.

Methods: Retrospective review of an incident cohort of AD, IMH, and PAU patients in Olmsted County, Minnesota from 1995 to 2015. Primary end point was aortic death. Secondary end points were subsequent aortic events (aortic intervention, new dissection, or rupture not present at presentation) and first-time diagnosis of an aortic aneurysm. Outcomes were compared with randomly selected population referents matched for age and sex in a 3:1 ratio using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusting for comorbidities.

Results: Among 133 patients (77 AD, 21 IMH, and 35 PAU), 57% were males, and mean age was 71.8 years (standard deviation, 14). Median follow-up was 10 years. Of 73 deaths among AD/IMH/PAU patients, 23 (32%) were aortic-related. Estimated freedom from aortic death was 84%, 80%, and 77% at 5, 10, and 15 years. There were no aortic deaths among population referents (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for aortic death in AD/IMH/PAU, 184.7; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 10.3-3,299.2; P < 0.001). Fifty (38%) AD/IMH/PAU patients had a subsequent aortic event (aortic intervention, new dissection, or rupture), whereas there were 8 (2%) aortic events among population referents (all elective aneurysm repairs; adjusted HR for any aortic event and aortic intervention in AD/IMH/PAU patients, 33.3; 95% CI, 15.3-72.0; P < 0.001 and 31.5; 95% CI, 14.5-68.4; P < 0.001, respectively). After excluding aortic events/interventions ≤14 days of diagnosis, AD/IMH/PAU patients remained at increased risk of any aortic event (adjusted HR, 10.8; 95% CI, 3.9-29.8; P < 0.001) and aortic intervention (adjusted HR, 9.6; 95% CI, 3.4-26.8; P < 0.001). Among those subjects with available follow-up imaging, the risk of first-time diagnosis of aortic aneurysm was significantly increased for AD/IMH/PAU patients when compared with population referents (adjusted HR, 10.9; 95% CI, 5.4-21.7; P < 0.001 and 8.3; 95% CI, 4.1-16.7; P < 0.001 for thoracic and abdominal aneurysms, respectively) and remained increased when excluding aneurysms that formed within 14 days of AD/IMH/PAU (adjusted HR, 6.2; 95% CI, 1.8-21.1; P = 0.004 and 2.8; 95% CI, 1.0-7.6; P = 0.040 for thoracic and abdominal aneurysms, respectively).

Conclusions: AD/IMH/PAU patients have a substantial risk of aortic death, any aortic event, aortic intervention, and first-time diagnosis of aortic aneurysm that persists even when the acute phase (≤14 days after diagnosis) is uncomplicated. Advances in postdiagnosis treatment are necessary to improve the prognosis in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.06.004DOI Listing
November 2020

Outcomes of Innominate Artery Revascularization Through Endovascular, Hybrid, or Open Approach.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Nov 15;69:190-196. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Department of Surgery, Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Background: Atherosclerotic disease of the innominate artery (IA) is rare and can lead to cerebral, upper extremity, and vertebral steal symptoms. Nonocclusive lesions can be treated with endovascular interventions, often with a hybrid approach while performing a right carotid endarterectomy (RCEA). Calcified IA lesions have a high risk of embolization to bilateral cerebral hemispheres. Occlusive lesions may require treatment through a median sternotomy and bypass. The purpose of our study is to review our short-term and long-term outcomes of IA revascularization.

Methods: Our operative database was used to identify patients who underwent IA revascularization between January 1998 and December 2018. Patients who underwent innominate artery stenting (IAS), combined with RCEA and IAS as well as aortoinnominate bypass (AIB), were identified. Our primary end points were freedom from neurologic event, all-cause mortality, and need for reintervention.

Results: Thirty-three patients (18 females [55%]) who underwent IA revascularization were identified. Average age was 67 ± 8 years, and mean clinical follow-up was 51 ± 21 months. Most patients (30 [91%]) were on a statin and antiplatelet therapy. Twenty-one patients (64%) were symptomatic. Twelve patients (36%) were asymptomatic and underwent combined RCEA with retrograde IAS for critical right carotid stenosis and IA stenosis. Preoperative imaging included a carotid duplex and computed tomography angiography. Eighteen patients (55%) underwent RCEA + IAS, 11 patients (33%) underwent isolated IAS, and 4 patients (12%) underwent AIB. In our attempt to protect bilateral hemispheres during IAS for heavily calcified lesions, we used right common carotid artery (CCA) clamping although open exposure and left CCA embolic protection filter was placed through transfemoral approach. Patients who underwent AIB had chronic heavily calcified IA occlusions or occluded IA stents with failed endovascular interventions. Perioperative stroke rate was 3%, involving 1 patient who developed reperfusion syndrome after RCEA + IAS. Perioperative mortality was 0%. Long-term stroke rate was 0%, and long-term mortality was 15% (5 of 33) because of cardiac disease. Overall restenosis rate was 9%, involving 3 patients who required secondary interventions for IA in-stent restenosis.

Conclusions: IA interventions through a hybrid approach or an open approach are safe, with acceptable perioperative stroke and mortality rates. Long-term patency of these interventions is acceptable. Bilateral cerebral embolic protection can be accomplished by clamping the right CCA through an open exposure and placing a filter in the left CCA through a transfemoral approach. Patients undergoing IAS appear to have a higher rate of restenosis compared with AIB, and therefore, close follow-up with noninvasive imaging is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.06.005DOI Listing
November 2020

The Vascular Implant Surveillance and Interventional Outcomes (VISION) Coordinated Registry Network: An effort to advance evidence evaluation for vascular devices.

J Vasc Surg 2020 Dec 20;72(6):2153-2160. Epub 2020 May 20.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH; VA Outcomes Group, White River Junction VA Medical Center, White River Junction, Vt. Electronic address:

The Vascular Implant Surveillance and Interventional Outcomes Network (VISION) is a Coordinated Registry Network (CRN) a member of Medical Device Epidemiology Network, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-supported global public-private partnership that seeks to advance the collection and use of real-world data to improve patient outcomes. The VISION CRN began in September 2015 and held its first strategic meeting on September 10, 2018, at the FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. VISION is a collaboration of the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI), the FDA, and other stakeholders. At this annual meeting, leaders from the FDA, VQI, industry representatives, population health researchers, and regulatory science experts gathered to discuss strategic goals and opportunities for VISION. One of the key focus areas for VISION is linkage of VQI registry data to Medicare, longitudinal data sources maintained by various states, and other relevant data sources, as a model for efficient, cost-saving, and effectual evidence generation and appraisal. This would provide the means to expand data collection, assess long-term procedural outcomes across the carotid, lower extremity, aortic, and venous intervention datasets, and execute registry-based trials through the CRN structure in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Looking forward, VISION strives to validate long-term outcome data in the VQI using industry datasets, in hopes of using CRNs to make device regulatory decisions. With the guidance of a steering committee, VISION will provide vascular surgeons, industry, and regulators the appropriate data to improve care for patients with vascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.04.507DOI Listing
December 2020

Online Ratings for Vascular Interventional Proceduralists Vary by Physician Specialty.

Ann Vasc Surg 2021 Jan 20;70:27-35. Epub 2020 May 20.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire; The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Background: Multiple specialties offer vascular interventional care, creating potential competition for referrals and procedures. At the same time, patient/consumer ratings have become more impactful for physicians who perform vascular procedures. We hypothesized that there are differences in online ratings based on specialty.

Methods: We used official program lists from the Association for Graduate Medical Education to identify institutions with training programs in integrated vascular surgery (VS), integrated interventional radiology (IR), and interventional cardiology (IC). Faculty providers were identified in each specialty at these institutions. A standardized search was performed to collect online ratings from Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com, and Google.com as well as from online demographics. Between specialty differences were analyzed using chi-squared and analysis of variance tests as appropriate. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify factors associated with review volume and star rating.

Results: A total of 1,330 providers (n = 454 VS, n = 451 IR, n = 425 IC) were identified across 47 institutions in 27 states. VS (55.5%-69.4%) and IC (63.8%-71.1%) providers were significantly more likely to have reviews than IR (28.6%-48.8%) providers across all online platforms (P < 0.001 for all websites). Across all platforms, IC providers were rated significantly higher than VS and IR providers. Multivariable regression showed that provider specialty and additional time in practice were associated with higher review volume. In addition to specialty, review volume was associated with star rating as those physicians with more reviews tended to have a higher rating.

Conclusions: On average, vascular surgeons have more reviews and are more highly rated than interventional radiologists but tend to have fewer reviews and lower ratings than interventional cardiologists. VS providers may benefit from encouraging patients to file online reviews, especially in competitive markets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.05.008DOI Listing
January 2021

Long-Term Outcomes of Mesenteric Stenting and Analysis of In-Stent Restenosis Duplex Velocity Criteria.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Oct 16;68:226-233. Epub 2020 May 16.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Background: Endovascular therapy for chronic mesenteric ischemia (CMI) is the mainstay of treatment. Duplex velocity criteria within stented mesenteric vessels are not well established. We describe single-center outcomes of mesenteric stenting for CMI and analyze duplex velocities associated with in-stent restenosis (ISR).

Methods: We performed a single-center retrospective review of patients undergoing mesenteric stenting for CMI (2012-2018). Primary outcome was reintervention for recurrence of CMI symptoms. Secondary outcomes were occlusion or bypass grafting. Duplex velocities in those with recurrent symptoms, corresponding with clinically significant ISR, were identified. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were created to identify velocity thresholds for ISR.

Results: Mesenteric stents were placed in 61 patients (71 arteries). Mean age was 72 years (range, 49-92), and the majority were female (55%). Thirty-two (45%) celiac (CA) stents and 39 (55%) superior mesenteric artery (SMA) stents were placed. Ten patients had SMA and CA stents placed. Twenty-five stents were covered (35%). Freedom from reintervention at 1, 2, and 3 years was 83%, 73%, and 60%. Freedom from occlusion or bypass grafting at 1, 2, and 3 years was 100%, 86%, and 86%. No significant difference in patency was seen between covered and bare-metal stents (OR 0.45; 95% CI: 0.15-1.33; P = 0.1383). Median survival was 6.1 years. For CA stents, a peak systolic velocity (PSV) of 440 cm/s corresponded with clinically significant ISR with 100% sensitivity and 86% specificity. For SMA stents, a PSV of 341 cm/s corresponded with clinically significant ISR with only 80% sensitivity and 52% specificity.

Conclusions: A PSV of 440 cm/s for CA stents was indicative of clinically significant ISR with excellent sensitivity and specificity. This should be used in conjunction with clinical findings to identify patients that may benefit from repeat intervention. A similar threshold could not be identified for SMA stents and warrants further collaborative investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.04.064DOI Listing
October 2020

Longitudinal Spending on Endovascular and Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair.

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2020 05 7;13(5):e006249. Epub 2020 May 7.

Section of Vascular Surgery (Z.J.W., J.A.C., P.P.G.), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Background: Endovascular repair (EVR) has replaced open surgery as the procedure of choice for patients requiring elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. Long-term outcomes of the 2 approaches are similar, making the relative cost of caring for these patients over time an important consideration.

Methods And Results: We linked Medicare claims to Vascular Quality Initiative registry data for patients undergoing elective EVR or open AAA repair from 2004 to 2015. The primary outcome was Medicare's cumulative disease-related spending, adjusted to 2015 dollars. Disease-related spending included the index operation and associated hospitalization, surveillance imaging, reinterventions (AAA-related and abdominal wall procedures), and all-cause admissions within 90 days. We compared the incidence of disease-related events and cumulative spending at 90 days and annually through 7 years of follow-up. The analytic cohort comprised 6804 EVR patients (median follow-up: 1.85 years; interquartile range: 0.82-3.22 years) and 1889 open repair patients (median follow-up: 2.62 years; interquartile range: 1.13-4.80 years). Spending on index surgery was significantly lower for EVR (median [interquartile range]: $25 924 [$22 280-$32 556] EVR versus $31 442 [$24 669-$40 419] open; <0.001), driven by a lower rate of in-hospital complications (6.6% EVR versus 38.0% open; <0.001). EVR patients underwent more surveillance imaging (1.8 studies per person-year EVR versus 0.7 studies per person-year open; <0.001) and AAA-related reinterventions (4.0 per 100 person-years EVR versus 2.1 per 100 person-years open; =0.041). Open repair patients had higher rates of 90-day readmission (12.9% EVR versus 17.8% open; <0.001) and abdominal wall procedures (0.6 per 100 person-years EVR versus 1.5 per 100 person-years open; <0.001). Overall, EVR patients incurred more disease-related spending in follow-up ($7355 EVR versus $2706 open through 5 years). There was no cumulative difference in disease-related spending between surgical groups by 5 years of follow-up (-$33 EVR [95% CI: -$1543 to $1476]).

Conclusions: We observed no cumulative difference in disease-related spending on EVR and open repair patients 5 years after surgery. Generalized recommendations about which approach to offer elective AAA patients should not be based on relative cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.006249DOI Listing
May 2020

Outcomes of rotational atherectomy in complex lesions of the superficial femoral artery.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Jan 20;73(1):172-178. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH. Electronic address:

Background: The effectiveness of rotational atherectomy in the treatment of complex superficial femoral artery (SFA) lesions remains poorly defined. Outcomes of SFA lesions treated with rotational atherectomy were analyzed.

Methods: This retrospective review assessed all patients who underwent rotational atherectomy of the SFA at a single institution between 2015 and 2018. The data of all patients were deidentified, and the study was approved by the Institutional Review Board. Informed consent was not obtained for this retrospective analysis. Main outcomes were Kaplan-Meier primary patency rate, freedom from major amputation, and 2-year survival rate. The effect of drug-coated balloon angioplasty (DCBA) on patency and time to death was investigated with univariate regression. The safety profile for atherectomy and DCBA was assessed by the 30-day incidence of major amputation and all-cause mortality.

Results: Fifty-three patients (mean age, 70.2 ± 9.8 years; 73% male; 65% critical limb-threatening ischemia; 47 [90%] current or former smokers; seven [13%] with prior failed ipsilateral endovascular intervention) underwent rotational atherectomy (Jetstream; Boston Scientific, Marlborough, Mass) with mean follow-up of 543 days. Forty-six (87%) patients underwent DCBA (Lutonix; BD Bard, Covington, Ga) after atherectomy. Mean lesion length was 13.2 ± 9.0 cm. Thirty-one (58%) lesions were TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus C or D class. At 1-month follow-up, 39 of 45 (87%) patients experienced improvement in symptoms and Rutherford class. An improvement in ankle-brachial index was also noted in 13% of patients without improvement of symptoms, with no patients progressing to surgical bypass or major amputation. Mean ankle-brachial index increased from 0.54 ± 0.035 to 0.90 ± 0.031 at 1 month after intervention (P < .001) and remained constant out to 18 months. Mean toe pressure increased from 36 ± 3.8 mm Hg to 67 ± 4.5 mm Hg at 1 month after intervention (P < .001) and remained constant out to 18 months. Kaplan-Meier primary patency rate was 75% (95% confidence interval, 61%-85%) at 12 months and 65% (51%-77%) at 24 months. There was a trend toward improved primary patency after adjunctive DCBA compared with plain balloon angioplasty at 1 year (75% vs 43%; P = .1082). There was no significant difference in mortality between adjunctive DCBA and plain balloon angioplasty at 2 years (11% vs 0%). The 2-year incidence of major amputation in critical limb-threatening ischemia patients was 3.9% (1.2%-6.5%). One patient died and none underwent amputation within 30 days.

Conclusions: Rotational atherectomy with adjunctive DCBA of long SFA lesions has excellent long-term patency. Two-year major amputation and mortality rates are low, and the technique has an exceptional safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.03.040DOI Listing
January 2021

A systematic review and meta-analysis of long-term reintervention after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

J Vasc Surg 2020 09 6;72(3):1122-1131. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH; Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Hanover, NH.

Objective: Patients who undergo endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) often require reintervention after the index repair. The long-term rate of reintervention and how this has changed with newer device technology are poorly understood. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature to determine long-term freedom from reintervention after EVAR and the change in reintervention rates over time.

Methods: We performed a systematic review of MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We included randomized controlled trials and observational studies that documented the rate of reintervention after EVAR. We performed a meta-analysis of Kaplan-Meier freedom from reintervention at each year after EVAR. We used linear regression to evaluate change in reintervention rate over time with newer device technology.

Results: We included a total of 30 studies (randomized trials, n = 3; observational studies, n = 27) comprising 32,126 patients in this review and meta-analysis. Studies ranged in the implantation date of the EVAR device from 1996 to 2014. The probability of freedom from reintervention was 81% (95% confidence interval [CI], 77%-85%) at 5 years, 70% (95% CI, 65%-76%) at 10 years, and 64% (95% CI, 46%-79%) at 14 years. Linear regression demonstrated an improvement in freedom from reintervention when results were stratified by the year of device implantation. At 1 year, estimated freedom from reintervention improved from 90% in 1998 to 94% in 2008 (n = 26 studies; R = 0.11; P = .10). At three years, estimated freedom from reintervention improved from 77% in 1998 to 90% in 2008 (n = 26 studies; R = 0.27; P = .006). At 5 years, estimated freedom from reintervention improved from 68% in 1998 to 81% in 2008 (n = 22 studies; R =0.12; P = .12). At 7 years, estimated freedom from reintervention improved from 51% in 1998 to 86% in 2011 (n = 22 studies; R = 0.40; P = .015).

Conclusions: EVAR patients remain at risk for reintervention indefinitely, and therefore lifelong surveillance is imperative. Encouragingly, reintervention rates have improved over time, with newer devices exhibiting lower rates. Reintervention rate remains an important metric for new devices and registries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.02.030DOI Listing
September 2020

Adverse cardiac events after vascular surgery are prevalent despite negative results of preoperative stress testing.

J Vasc Surg 2020 11 1;72(5):1584-1592. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH.

Objective: Cardiac risk assessment is a critical component of vascular disease management before surgical intervention. The predictive risk reduction of a negative cardiac stress test result remains poorly defined. The objective of this study was to compare the incidence of postoperative cardiac events among patients with negative stress test results vs those who did not undergo testing.

Methods: We reviewed all patients who underwent elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, suprainguinal bypass, endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), carotid endarterectomy (CEA), and infrainguinal bypass within the Vascular Study Group of New England from 2003 to 2017. We excluded patients with positive stress test results (n = 3312) and studied two mutually exclusive groups: elective surgery patients with a negative stress test result and elective surgery patients with no stress test (total n = 26,910). The primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital postoperative cardiac events (dysrhythmia, heart attack, heart failure) or death.

Results: A preoperative stress test was obtained in 66.3% of open repairs, 42.8% of suprainguinal bypasses, 37.1% of EVARs, 36.0% of CEAs, and 31.2% of infrainguinal bypasses. The proportion of patients receiving a preoperative stress test varied widely across centers, from 37.1% to 80.0%. The crude odds ratio of in-hospital postoperative cardiac event or death was 1.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-1.76) for open repair and 1.52 (CI, 1.13-2.03) for suprainguinal bypass, indicating that patients with negative stress test results before these procedures were 37% and 52% more likely to suffer a postoperative event or die compared with patients selected to proceed directly to surgery without testing. Conversely, the crude odds ratio was 0.92 (CI, 0.66-1.29) for EVAR, 0.92 (CI, 0.70-1.21) for CEA, and 1.13 (CI, 0.90-1.40) for infrainguinal bypass, indicating that patients undergoing these procedures had a similar likelihood of sustaining an event whether they had a negative stress test result or proceeded directly to surgery without a stress test.

Conclusions: The use of cardiac stress testing before vascular surgery varies widely throughout New England. Whereas patients are often appropriately selected to proceed directly to surgery, a negative preoperative stress test result should not assuage the concern for an adverse outcome as these patients retain a substantial likelihood of cardiac events, especially after large-magnitude procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.01.061DOI Listing
November 2020

Failure on a Vascular Surgery Board-American Board of Surgery Examination does not predict cardiovascular outcomes in the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative.

J Vasc Surg 2020 11 1;72(5):1753-1760. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objective: The Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery (VSB-ABS) Qualifying and Certifying examinations are meant to assess qualifications to independently practice vascular surgery, but it is unclear whether examination performance correlates with clinical outcomes. We assessed this relationship using clinical outcomes data for VSB-ABS diplomates from the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS-VQI).

Methods: VSB-ABS examination performance for vascular surgeons participating in the SVS-VQI registry was characterized according to pass/fail status. Surgical experience was measured by number of years since completion of training. Examination performance and experience were compared with a composite clinical outcome (in-patient major adverse cardiac events or postoperative death [MACE+POD]) after arterial reconstructions (carotid stenting or endarterectomy, aortic aneurysm repair, open peripheral surgical bypasses) registered in the SVS-VQI. Multivariate mixed effects regression was performed adjusting for sex and surgery type, as well as clustering by surgeon and by hospital.

Results: From 2003 to 2017, complete data were available for 776 vascular surgeons who performed 124,171 arterial reconstructions (carotid n = 56,650; aortic n = 34,764; peripheral n = 32,757) registered in the SVS-VQI. Patient characteristics associated with higher odds of MACE+POD were female sex (odds ratio [OR] 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.12; P = .006) and advancing age (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03-1.04; P < .001). Of the 776 surgeons, 149 (17%) had failed at least one VSB-ABS examination (group F). The unadjusted primary composite outcome of MACE+POD was marginally higher after operations performed by surgeons who never failed an examination (group P; 7% vs 6%; P = .03). This difference seems to be driven by higher rates of postoperative congestive heart failure in the aortic and lower extremity bypass cohorts as well as more postoperative myocardial infarctions after lower extremity bypass by group P surgeons. Following multivariable analyses, examination pass status was not associated with MACE+POD (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.89-1.50; P = .517). However, increasing surgical experience correlated with significantly lower odds of MACE+POD (2% lower odds/year of experience since training [OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99; P < .001]).

Conclusions: VSB-ABS examination performance by SVS-VQI surgeons does not correlate with registry-reported mortality or cardiovascular complications. Increasing surgical experience is strongly associated with lower odds of cardiovascular morbidity and death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.01.053DOI Listing
November 2020

The impact of low- versus high-intensity surveillance cystoscopy on surgical care and cancer outcomes in patients with high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

PLoS One 2020 23;15(3):e0230417. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

White River Junction VA Medical Center, White River Junction, VT, United States of America.

Purpose: To assess the association of low- vs. guideline-recommended high-intensity cystoscopic surveillance with outcomes among patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Materials & Methods: A retrospective cohort study of Veterans Affairs patients diagnosed with high-risk NMIBC between 2005 and 2011 with follow-up through 2014. Patients were categorized by number of surveillance cystoscopies over two years following diagnosis: low- (1-5) vs. high-intensity (6 or more) surveillance. Propensity score adjusted regression models were used to assess the association of low-intensity cystoscopic surveillance with frequency of transurethral resections, and risk of progression to invasive disease and bladder cancer death.

Results: Among 1,542 patients, 520 (33.7%) underwent low-intensity cystoscopic surveillance. Patients undergoing low-intensity surveillance had fewer transurethral resections (37 vs. 99 per 100 person-years; p<0.001). Risk of death from bladder cancer did not differ significantly by low (cumulative incidence [CIn] 8.4% [95% CI 6.5-10.9) at 5 years) vs. high-intensity surveillance (CIn 9.1% [95% CI 7.4-11.2) at 5 years, p = 0.61). Low vs. high-intensity surveillance was not associated with increased risk of bladder cancer death among patients with Ta (CIn 5.7% vs. 8.2% at 5 years p = 0.24) or T1 disease at diagnosis (CIn 10.2% vs. 9.1% at 5 years, p = 0.58). Among patients with Ta disease, low-intensity surveillance was associated with decreased risk of progression to invasive disease (T1 or T2) or bladder cancer death (CIn 19.3% vs. 31.3% at 5 years, p = 0.002).

Conclusions: Patients with high-risk NMIBC undergoing low- vs. high-intensity cystoscopic surveillance underwent fewer transurethral resections, but did not experience an increased risk of progression or bladder cancer death. These findings provide a strong rationale for a clinical trial to determine whether low-intensity surveillance is comparable to high-intensity surveillance for cancer control in high-risk NMIBC.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230417PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7089561PMC
June 2020

Characterization of Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair Surveillance in the Vascular Quality Initiative.

Circulation 2020 03 9;141(10):866-868. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH (Z.J.W., J.A.C., D.H.S., P.P.G.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.043625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7101002PMC
March 2020

Patient Perspectives on the Implementation of Risk-Aligned Bladder Cancer Surveillance: Systematic Evaluation Using the Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases Framework.

JCO Oncol Pract 2020 08 2;16(8):e668-e677. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

White River Junction VA Medical Center, White River Junction, VT.

Purpose: Many patients living with bladder cancer do not undergo surveillance that is aligned with their risk for recurrence or progression, which exposes them to unnecessary risk and burden of procedures. To implement risk-aligned surveillance as recommended by multiple guidelines, we need to understand patient-, provider-, and system-level factors contributing to the delivery of risk-aligned surveillance. In this study, we sought to systematically assess patient-level factors.

Participants And Methods: Guided by the Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases framework, we conducted semistructured interviews with 22 patients with bladder cancer undergoing surveillance cystoscopy procedures at three facilities within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Patients were sampled using quantitative data on bladder cancer risk category (low high) and on surveillance category (aligned not aligned with cancer risk). Interview transcripts were analyzed using a priori codes from the Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases framework. Quantitative and qualitative data were integrated by cross-tabulating determinants across risk and surveillance categories.

Results: Participants included seven low-risk and 15 high-risk patients; 10 underwent risk-aligned surveillance and 12 did not. In mixed-methods analyses, perception of risk appropriately differed by risk but not by surveillance category. Participants understood the recommended surveillance schedule according to their risk category. Participants emphatically expressed that adhering to providers' recommendations is prudent; intentions to adhere did not vary across risk and surveillance categories.

Conclusion: Participants intended to adhere to providers' recommendations and strongly endorsed the importance of adherence. These findings suggest implementation strategies to improve risk-aligned surveillance may be most effective when targeting provider- and system-level factors rather than patient-level factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JOP.19.00576DOI Listing
August 2020

Surgeon experience association with patient selection and outcomes after open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

J Vasc Surg 2020 10 27;72(4):1325-1336.e2. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

Background: Growing calls for guidelines advocating minimum annual case volumes for surgeon credentialing remain controversial. Although most attention to date has focused on the impact of obligatory case volume, less attention has been devoted to the more complex association between surgeon years of independent practice experience and procedure outcomes after open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (OAR). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the association of surgeon experience with case selection and real-world outcomes after OAR.

Methods: All Society for Vascular Surgery-Vascular Quality Initiative infrarenal and juxtarenal OARs (n = 11,900; 71% elective; 29% nonelective) from 2003 to 2019 were examined. Surgeon experience was defined by years in practice after training completion. Experience level at time of repair was categorized (≤5 years, n = 1048; 6-10 years, n = 1309; 11-15 years, n = 1244; and ≥16 years, n = 4772) and intergroup univariate comparisons were made. Logistic regression identified independent predictors of complications, 30-day death, and 1-year mortality. Models were constructed with or without surgeon experience strata to determine association with outcomes.

Results: Increasing surgeon experience was associated with performing greater proportions of elective procedures, whereas less experienced surgeons had disproportionate exposure to nonelective operations (elective, 73% ≥16 years vs 62% ≤5 years [P < .0001]; nonelective, ≤5 years, 38% vs 27%, ≥16-years [P < .0001]). Among surgeons who perform five or fewer cases per year, the risk of any aggregate major complication after elective OAR decreased significantly as experience increased (P = .0004), although no differences were detected in nonelective cases or among higher volume surgeons. Similarly, the risk of in-hospital death decreased with increasing experience (P = .004), but only among low-volume surgeons performing elective procedures. Comorbidities were similar across all experience strata for both elective and nonelective presentations; however, more experienced surgeons operated on higher proportions of nonelective patients with coronary disease (P = .04). Early career surgeons more frequently operated on patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists IV designation, larger abdominal aortic aneurysm diameters and used suprarenal/celiac cross-clamps more frequently than later career surgeons. The 1-year survival after elective and nonelective OAR was not impacted by surgeon experience (P > .15 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: Increasing surgeon years of practice experience correlated significantly with a reduced risk of developing multiple postoperative complications, including postoperative death in the elective setting. Surgeons within their first 5 years of practice are exposed to greater proportions of nonelective cases but seem to have similar outcomes after these repairs compared with surgeons with more experience. Notably, surgeons in their first 5 years of practice operate on more complex elective patients as underscored by higher aggregate comorbidity scores, larger aneurysm diameters, and need for suprarenal aortic cross-clamping. These data have important implications on training paradigms, faculty recruitment, and the organization of mentorship when on boarding new surgeons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.12.031DOI Listing
October 2020