Do older surgeons have safer hands? A retrospective cohort study

Rizzo, Victoria, Caruana, Edward J., Freystaetter, Kathrin, Parry, Gareth and Clark, Stephen (2022) Do older surgeons have safer hands? A retrospective cohort study. Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 17 (1). p. 223. ISSN 1749-8090

s13019-022-01943-2.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (972kB) | Preview
Official URL:


BACKGROUND: For complex surgical procedures a volume-outcome relationship can often be demonstrated implicating multiple factors at a unit and surgeon specific level. This study aims to investigate this phenomenon in lung transplantation over a 30-year period with particular reference to surgeon age and experience, cumulative unit activity and time/day of transplant. METHODS: Prospective databases identified adult patients undergoing isolated lung transplantation at a single UK centre between June 1987 and October 2017. Mortality data was acquired from NHS Spine. Individual surgeon demographics were obtained from the General Medical Council. Student t-test, Pearson's Chi-squared, Logistic Regression, and Kaplan-Meier Survival analyses were performed using Analyse-it package for MicrosoftExcel and STATA/IC. RESULTS: 954 transplants (55.9% male, age 44.4 ± 13.8 years, 67.9% bilateral lung) were performed, with a median survival to follow-up of 4.37 years. There was no difference in survival by recipient gender (p = 0.661), between individual surgeons (p = 0.224), or between weekday/weekend procedures (p = 0.327). Increasing centre experience with lung transplantation (OR1.001, 95%CI: 1.000-1.001, p = 0.03) and successive calendar years (OR1.028, 95%CI: 1.005-1.052, p = 0.017) was associated with improved 5-year survival. Advancing surgeon age at the time of transplant (mean, 48.8 ± 6.6 years) was associated with improved 30-day survival (OR1.062, 95%CI: 1.019 to1.106, p = 0.003), which persisted 5 years post-transplant (OR1.043, 95%CI: 1.014-1.073, p = 0.003). Individual surgeon experience, measured by the number of previous lung transplants performed, showed a trend towards improved outcomes at 30 days (p = 0.0413) with no difference in 5-year survival (p = 0.192). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates a relationship between unit volume, increasing surgeon age and survival after lung transplantation. A transplant volume: outcome relationship was not seen for individual surgeons.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hospital medicine, Human factors, Medical education, Patient safety, Surgery
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 13:03
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2022 13:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics