Impact of Surgeon Demographics and Technique on Outcomes After Esophageal Resections: A Nationwide Study
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Thoracic, cardiac, and general surgeons perform esophageal resections in the United States. This article examines the impact of surgeon subspecialty on outcomes after esophagectomy. METHODS: Esophagectomies performed between 1998 and 2008 were identified in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Surgeons were classified as thoracic, cardiac, or general surgeons if greater than 65% of their operative case mix was representative of their specialty. Surgeons with less than 65% of a specialty-specific case mix served as controls. Regression equations calculated the independent effect of surgeon specialty, surgeon volume, and operative approach (transhiatal versus transthoracic) on outcomes. RESULTS: Of the 40,589 patients who underwent esophagectomies, surgeon identifiers were available for 23,529 patients. Based on case mix, thoracic, cardiac, and general surgeons performed 3,027 (12.9%), 688 (2.9%), and 4,086 (17.4%) esophagectomies, respectively. Operative technique did not independently affect risk-adjusted outcomes-mortality, morbidity, and failure to rescue (defined as death after a complication). Surgeon volume independently lowered mortality and failure to rescue by 4% (p ≤ 0.002 for both), but not complications (p = 0.6). High-volume hospitals (>12 procedures/year) independently lowered mortality (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46-0.96), and failure to rescue (AOR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.44-0.94). Esophageal resections performed by general surgeons were associated with higher mortality (AOR, 1.87; 95% CI 1.02-3.45) and failure to rescue (AOR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.06-3.61) but not complications (AOR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.64-1.49). CONCLUSIONS: General surgeons perform the major proportion of esophagectomies in the United States. Surgeon subspecialty is not associated with the risk of complications developing but instead is associated with mortality and failure to rescue from complications. Surgeon subspecialty case mix is an important determinant of outcomes for patients undergoing esophagectomy.
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ABSTRACT: While the outcomes after Heller myotomy have been extensively reported, little is known about patients with esophageal achalasia who are treated with esophagectomy. This was a retrospective analysis using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample over an 11-year period (2000-2010). Patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of achalasia who underwent esophagectomy (group 1) were compared to patients with esophageal cancer who underwent esophagectomy (group 2) during the same time period. Primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included length of stay, postoperative complications, and total hospital charges. A propensity-matched analysis was conducted comparing the same outcomes between group 1 and well-matched controls in group 2. Nine hundred sixty-three patients with achalasia and 18,003 patients with esophageal cancer underwent esophagectomy. The propensity matched analysis showed a trend toward a higher mortality in group 2 (7.8 vs. 2.9 %, p = 0.08). Postoperative length of stay and complications were similar in both groups. Total hospital charges were higher for the achalasia group ($115,087 vs. $99, 654.2, p = 0.006). This is the largest study to date examining outcomes after esophagectomy in patients with achalasia. Based on our findings, esophagectomy can be considered a safe option, and surgeons should not be hindered by a perceived notion of prohibitive operative risk in this patient population.Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 08/2013; 18(2). DOI:10.1007/s11605-013-2318-y · 2.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Anastomotic leak is an important cause of morbidity and mortality after esophagectomy. Few studies have targeted risk factors for the development of leak after esophagectomy. The purpose of this study is to use The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database to identify variables associated with leak after esophagectomy. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database was queried for patients treated with esophagectomy for esophageal cancer between 2001 and 2011. Univariate and multivariate analysis of variables associated with an increased risk anastomotic leak was performed. There were 7,595 esophagectomies, with 804 (10.6%) leaks. Thirty-day mortality and length of stay were higher for patients with anastomotic leak. Mortality in patients requiring surgical management was 11.6% (38 of 327) compared with 4.4% (20 of 458) in medically managed leaks (p < 0.001). The leak rate was higher in patients with cervical anastomosis compared with those with intrathoracic anastomoses, 12.3% versus 9.3%, respectively (p = 0.006). There was no difference in leak-associated mortality between the two approaches. Factors associated with leak on univariate analysis include obesity, heart failure, coronary disease, vascular disease, hypertension, steroids, diabetes, renal insufficiency, tobacco use, procedure duration greater than 5 hours, and type of procedure (p < 0.05). Multivariable regression analysis associated heart failure, hypertension, renal insufficiency, and type of procedure as risk factors for the development of leak (p < 0.05). Anastomotic leak after esophagectomy is an important cause of postoperative mortality and increased length of stay. We have identified important risk factors for the development of esophageal anastomotic leak after esophagectomy. Further studies aimed at risk reduction are warranted.The Annals of thoracic surgery 09/2013; 96(6). DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2013.07.119 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To define the impact of hospital teaching status on length of stay and mortality for patients undergoing complex hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgery in the USA. Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we identified 285,442 patient records that involved a liver resection, pancreatoduodenectomy, other pancreatic resection, or hepaticojejunostomy between years 2000 and 2010. Year-wise distribution of procedures at teaching and non-teaching hospitals was described. The impact of teaching status on in-hospital mortality for operations performed at hospitals in the top tertile of procedure volume was determined using multivariate logistic regression analysis. A majority of patients were under 65 years of age (59.6 %), white (74.0 %), admitted on an elective basis (77.3 %), and had a low comorbidity burden (70.5 %). Ninety percent were operated upon at hospitals in the top tertile of yearly procedure volume. Among patients undergoing an operation at a hospital in the top tertile of procedure volume (>25/year), non-teaching status was associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death (OR 1.47 [1.3, 1.7]). Other factors associated with increased risk of mortality were older patient age (OR 2.52 [2.3, 2.8]), male gender (OR 1.73 [1.6, 1.9]), higher comorbidity burden (OR 1.49 [1.3, 1.7]), non-elective admission (OR 3.32 [2.9, 4.0]), and having a complication during in-hospital stay (OR 2.53 [2.2, 3.0]), while individuals with private insurance had a lower risk of in-hospital mortality (OR 0.45 [0.4, 0.5]). After controlling for other covariates, undergoing complex HPB surgery at a non-teaching hospital remained independently associated with 32 % increased odds of death as (OR 1.32, 95 % CI 1.11-1.58; P < 0.001). Even among high-volume hospitals, patients undergoing complex HPB have better outcomes at teaching vs. non-teaching hospitals. While procedural volume is an established factor associated with surgical outcomes among patients undergoing complex HPB procedures, other hospital-level factors such as teaching status have an important impact on peri-operative outcomes.Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 09/2013; 17(12). DOI:10.1007/s11605-013-2349-4 · 2.39 Impact Factor