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Systematic review and meta-analysis comparing perioperative outcomes of emergency appendectomy performed by trainee vs trained surgeon

      Highlights

      • A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed.
      • Compared outcomes of appendectomy performed by trainees versus trained surgeons.
      • Included 29 studies, reporting on 135,358 participants
      • No difference in morbidity, operative blood loss, or conversion to open surgery.
      • Trainees had longer operating time, but shorter hospital stay and less reoperations.
      • Appendectomy performed by trainees does not compromise patient safety.

      Abstract

      Background

      Appendectomy is a benchmark operation for trainee progression, but this should be weighed against patient safety and perioperative outcomes.

      Methods

      Systematic literature review and meta-analysis comparing outcomes of appendectomy performed by trainees versus trained surgeons.

      Results

      Of 2086 articles screened, 29 studies reporting on 135,358 participants were analyzed. There was no difference in mortality (Odds ratio [OR] 1.08, P = 0.830), overall complications (OR 0.93, P = 0.51), or major complications (OR 0.56, P = 0.16). There was no difference in conversion from laparoscopic to open surgery (OR 0.81, P = 0.12) and in intraoperative blood loss (Mean Difference [MD] 5.58 mL, P = 0.25). Trainees had longer operating time (MD 7.61 min, P < 0.0001). Appendectomy by trainees resulted in shorter duration of hospital stay (MD 0.16 days, P = 0.005) and decreased reoperation rate (OR 0.78, P = 0.05).

      Conclusions

      Appendectomy performed by trainees does not compromise patient safety. Due to statistical heterogeneity, further randomized controlled trials, with standardized reported outcomes, are required.
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