Amy Holman

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


While postoperative vision loss following spine surgery is a rare complication; it has proven to be a devastating problem when it occurs. The American Society of Anesthesiologists compiled a closed-claims study in which only 3o/o of claims were from eye injuries, however, the patients with these injuries received significantly higher monetary settlements in comparison to patients with other injuries. This statistic alone warrants attention to this surgical complication

The purpose of this project is to conduct a comprehensive review of the literature regarding postoperative vision loss, specifically following spine surgery, and the anesthesia implications. A poster presentation will be developed to be presented to graduate level students

The expected results of this comprehensive review will help to provide insight into the complication of postoperative vision loss. It will also help understand the pathophysiology behind postoperative vision loss, as well as help determine guidelines for anesthesia practice to help prevent this complication from occurring

The implications of this research are mainly related to prevention. Current treatment of postoperative vision loss has been largely unsuccessful. Therefore it is imp01iant to identify those at risk. A complication of vision loss from a surgery essentially unrelated to the eye is unacceptable to patients. Therefore, more research is needed to attempt to identify exact causes to help guide the anesthetic management of patients undergoing spine procedures