Process improvements reduce utilization of resources for aortic aneurysm repair

Thomas H. Schwarcz, Chester C. Yavorski, Eric D. Endean, Christopher J. Kwolek, Gordon L. Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In conjunction with the VA reorganization to promote greater efficiency of health care provision, ambulatory surgery (AS) programs have been created. These programs institute outpatient preoperative assessment and operative management. This study examines the impact of these process changes on resources utilized by patients requiring repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). The medical records of 15 consecutively treated patients undergoing elective, infrarenal AAA repair before (1992-1993) and after (1995-1996) AS implementation were reviewed. Resource utilization was assessed by evaluating preoperative tests performed (inpatient or outpatient), ICU days, and inpatient length of stay (LOS). Postoperative morbidity and mortality were noted. Patient age, AAA size, and prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiac disease, COPD, and tobacco use were similar between the two groups. Abdominal ultrasound, CT scanning, and angiography were significantly more frequently performed on an outpatient basis after implementation of the AS program. The median preoperative LOS was reduced in the AS group (1 vs 6 days, P = 0.001, Student t test), resulting in a lower inpatient LOS (11 vs 16, P < 0.01, Student t test). All patients survived and the incidence of complications was similar between the groups. Hospital resource utilization was significantly decreased, largely by shifting preoperative assessment to the outpatient setting. This study illustrates that benefits of an ambulatory surgery program can be extended beyond facilitating outpatient operations and should result in decreased length of hospitalization for other major surgical procedures, such as abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


  • Aneurysm repair
  • Process improvements
  • Resource utilization
  • Utilization of resources for aortic aneurysm repair
  • Vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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