Impact of resident participation on laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs: Are residents slowing us down?

  • Hernández-Irizarry R
  • Zendejas B
  • Ali S
 et al. 
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Abstract

Objective: The time it takes to complete an operation is important. Operating room (OR) time is costly and directly associated with infectious complications and length of stay. Intuitively, procedures take longer when a surgical resident is operating. How much extra time should we take to train residents? We examined the relationship between laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair (IHR) procedure duration and resident participation and its impact on the development of complications and hospital stay. Methods: Data from patients undergoing laparoscopic IHR in participating institutions of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) from 2007 to 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with current procedural terminology (CPT) codes 49650 and 49651 (laparoscopic initial and recurrent IHR) comprised our patient cohort. Participation of staff surgeon and resident postgraduate year level (PGY) were used as the main predictors for operative outcomes. Results: A total of 6223 patients underwent laparoscopic IHR as their main procedure with no additional or concurrent procedures; 92% were men, 21% of the repairs were bilateral. In total, there were 98 patients with at least 1 complication (1.6%). Resident involvement was present in 3565 cases (57%) broken down by PGY1: 12%, PGY2: 12%, PGY3: 21%, PGY4: 19%, PGY5 or above: 36%. Median operative time was 45 minutes for staff surgeons alone and 64 minutes when there was a resident present (p < 0.001). PGY level predicted operative duration: higher PGY levels correlated with greater operative times (PGY1 median time 58 min vs PGY < 5 = 67 min, p < 0.001). Resident participation was not a significant predictor for the development of complications (p = 0.30). Conclusions: Laparoscopic IHR is performed faster by staff surgeons without residents. There was no difference in the complication rate when residents were involved. Teaching and mentoring residents in the OR for laparoscopic IHR is safe and laudable. © 2012 Association of Program Directors in Surgery.

Author-supplied keywords

  • National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP)
  • TAPP
  • TEP
  • inguinal hernia repair
  • laparoscopy
  • operating time

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Authors

  • Benjamin ZendejasMayo Clinic Minnesota

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  • Roberto Hernández-Irizarry

  • Shahzad M. Ali

  • Christine M. Lohse

  • David R. Farley

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