Whose Appendicectomy? – Do Laparoscopic Appendicectomies Impair SHO Training?

Department of General Surgery, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, Huddersfield, UK.
Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England (Impact Factor: 1.27). 10/2008; 90(7):577-80. DOI: 10.1308/003588408X318200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Open appendicectomy is an ideal procedure for junior surgical trainees to develop operative skills. However, in recent years, we have noticed a decline in the number of appendicectomies performed by basic surgical trainees and a shift towards increasing use of laparoscopic appendicectomy. The aim of this study was to determine whether the growing popularity of laparoscopic appendicectomy is having a detrimental impact on the training experience of SHOs.
We undertook a retrospective review of all cases of appendicectomies performed in one district hospital over a 7-year period (August 1999 to August 2006.) A standard performa was used to extract data from the original case notes of these patients relating to the operating surgeon and technique.
Data were obtained for 857 appendicectomies. Between February 2002 and July 2003, there was a significant decline in the proportion of appendicectomies performed by SHOs from 78.7% to 29.3% (P < 0.001). Either side of this decline there were no significant changes in the proportion of SHO appendicectomies. The number of appendicectomies performed laparoscopically only began to rise after February 2004, with a year-on-year increase. The number of appendicectomies performed by SHOs remained stable during this time. No laparoscopic appendicectomy was performed by an SHO.
We found no evidence that the popularisation of laparoscopic appendicectomy has contributed to the decline of appendicectomies performed by SHOs. Nevertheless, with the continual rise in popularity of this procedure, it is important to balance training opportunities for both junior and higher surgical trainees.

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Available from: Neeraj Sethi, Feb 24, 2014
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