Effect of resident postgraduate year on outcomes after laparoscopic appendectomy for appendicitis in children

Naiditch, J. A.; Lautz, T. B.; Raval, M. V.; Madonna, M. B.; Barsness, K. A.

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2012 Aug 1; 22(7):715-9


Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if the postgraduate level of resident in the operating room correlates with outcomes for pediatric patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy. Subjects and Methods: The charts of all children who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy for appendicitis from 2007 to 2011 at a free-standing children's hospital were reviewed. Outcomes of interest were compared between patient groups based on postgraduate level of the junior-most surgeon in the operating room: (1) junior resident (postgraduate year [PGY]-1, -2, and -3); (2) senior resident (PGY-4 or -5); (3) fellow (PGY-6 or -7); or (4) attending surgeon only. Results: Junior resident (n=327), senior resident (n=129), fellow (n=246), and attending (n=73) groups were similar in terms of age (P=.69), gender distribution (P=.51), race (P=.08), and perforation status (P=.30). Operative time was shorter for senior residents (P=.002), fellows (P<.001), and attending surgeons operating without a resident (P<.001) compared with cases with junior residents. The rate of conversion to an open operation was similar among groups (P=.46). Resident level was not predictive of complications, which occurred in 26 junior resident cases (8.0%; referent), 17 senior resident cases (13.2%; odds ratio [OR] 1.73; P=.11), 33 fellow cases (13.4%; OR 1.71; P=.06), and 8 attending cases (11.0%; OR 1.62; P=.27). Fellow involvement was associated with an increased rate of postoperative percutaneous abscess drainage or re-operation for abscess or bowel obstruction (9.8%; OR 2.31; P=.020). Conclusions: Involvement of junior residents in pediatric laparoscopic appendectomy is associated with increased operative time but no higher rate of complications.

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