BACKGROUND: Considerable concern has been raised about the effects of restricted duty hours on surgical training. However, to our knowledge, the effect of the 80-hour resident workweek on operative outcomes after laparoscopic cholecystectomy has not been well studied. OBJECTIVE: To compare the rates of bile duct injury and overall complications after laparoscopic cholecystectomy before and after the institution of the duty-hour restriction. DESIGN: Retrospective review of patient medical records to determine morbidity and mortality before (January 1, 2000, to June 30, 2003; period 1) and after (July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2006; period 2) implementation of duty hour limitations. SETTING: Major public teaching hospital. PATIENTS: A total of 2470 patients who had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Bile duct injury and overall complication rates as determined using multivariate analysis. RESULTS: Overall, 2470 laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedures were performed, including 1353 in period 1 and 1117 in period 2. In period 2, more patients had acute cholecystitis as the indication for surgery (49% vs 35% in period 1, P < .001), and a higher percentage of patients were male (22% vs 18%, P = .01). The incidence of bile duct injury and total complications decreased in period 2 from 1% to 0.4%(P = .04) and from 5% to 2% (P < .001), respectively. Mortality was unchanged. Multivariate analysis revealed that period 2 was protective for bile duct injury (odds ratio, 0.31; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-0.96; P = .04). For complications, both female sex (odds ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-0.9) and surgery during period 2 (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.28-0.75) were protective, whereas older age (odds ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.05) was associated with complications. CONCLUSION: At a major public teaching hospital, the bile duct injury rate and the overall complication rate decreased after implementation of the 80-hour workweek.
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