A new study from the Carolinas Laparoscopic and Advanced Surgery Program at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, found that performance of advanced laparoscopic procedures in a minimally invasive surgery program is safe, regardless of whether the surgery is performed early or late in fellowship training.
These findings contradict previous research, which has suggested that receiving medical care early in the academic year may carry more risk than at other times. Because some of the surgical techniques for advanced laparoscopic procedures are not learned in general surgery residency and additional training is required, it might be thought that surgical outcomes may be worse during the first few months of the academic year as new trainees arrive.
Researchers sought to look at the outcomes and efficiency of the procedures performed in a fellowship setting, including length of operation, amount of bleeding, complications, and length of hospital stay, to determine whether any significant differences existed between the early and later training months. They analyzed outcomes from the early (July to September) and late (March to May) academic year and found the time periods to be equally safe. The so-called "July Effect" has been studied at medical training institutions in both surgery and general medicine, but in regards to advanced surgical training with newer and more complex approaches, it has not been previously reported.
Researchers reviewed all operative and post-operative data from the fellowship program (established 1999) during the identified months when a fellow was participating in a complex operation in this case a laparoscopic Heller Myotomy and determined if either time period was associated with poorer results. This relatively rare surgery involves a delicate dissection of certain layers of the esophagus in a less commonly encountered region for general surgeons (the natio
|Contact: Amy Levey|
Digestive Disease Week