Colorectal cancer: is the surgeon a prognostic factor? A systematic review

Med J Aust. 1999 Sep 20;171(6):308-10.


Objective: To assess whether there is evidence that the surgeon is a prognostic factor in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Data source: MEDLINE 1985-February 1999, and bibliographies of retrieved articles.

Study selection: Publications which analysed the outcome of patients with colorectal cancer and in which one of the variables analysed was the surgeon.

Results: Thirteen studies were identified which addressed the outcome measures: post-operative mortality, anastomotic leak rate, local recurrence rate, and long-term survival. For these outcomes, different surgeons achieve significantly different results, with experienced and specialist surgeons achieving significantly better results than other surgeons.

Conclusion: The current data strongly suggest that the surgeon is an important prognostic factor in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • General Surgery*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Specialties, Surgical
  • Survival Rate