Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has created a shift in how many surgical diseases are treated. Examining the effect on resident operative experience provides valuable insight into trends that may be useful for restructuring the requirements of resident training.
To evaluate changes in general surgery resident operative experience regarding MIS.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Retrospective review of the frequency of MIS relative to open operations among general surgery residents using the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs for academic years 1993-1994 through 2011-2012.
General surgery residency training among accredited programs in the United States.
Main Outcomes and Measures
We analyzed the difference in the mean number of MIS techniques and corresponding open procedures across training periods using 2-tailed t tests with statistical significance set at P < .05.
Of 6 467 708 operations with the option of MIS, 2 393 030 (37.0%) were performed with the MIS approach. Of all MIS operations performed, the 5 most common were cholecystectomy (48.5%), appendectomy (16.2%), groin hernia repair (10.0%), abdominal exploration (nontrauma) (4.4%), and antireflux procedures (3.6%). During the study period, there was a transition from a predominantly open to MIS approach for appendectomy, antireflux procedures, thoracic wedge resection, and partial gastric resection. Cholecystectomy is the only procedure for which MIS was more common than the open technique throughout the study period (P < .001). The open approach is more common for all other procedures, including splenectomy (0.7% MIS), common bile duct exploration (24.9% MIS), gastrostomy (25.9% MIS), abdominal exploration (33.1% MIS), hernia (20.3% MIS), lung resection (22.3% MIS), partial or total colectomy (39.1%), enterolysis (19.0% MIS), ileostomy (9.0% MIS), enterectomy (5.2% MIS), vagotomy (1.8% MIS), and pediatric antireflux procedures (35.9% MIS); P < .001.
Conclusions and Relevance
Minimally invasive surgery has an increasingly prominent role in contemporary surgical therapy for many common diseases. The open approach, however, still predominates in all but 5 procedures. Residents today must become efficient at performing multiple techniques for a single procedure, which demands a broader skill set than in the past.