The impact of endovascular procedures on fellowship training in lower extremity revascularization

J Vasc Surg. 2012 Jun;55(6):1814-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2012.01.082.


Objective: The introduction of endovascular aneurysm repair has resulted in a decline in open abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs performed by vascular residents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a similar trend has occurred with open lower extremity revascularization procedures, with increased endovascular procedures producing a decrease in the number of open lower extremity revascularizations. Furthermore, this study evaluates the effect of endovascular procedure volume on the frequency of subtypes of open lower extremity procedures performed.

Methods: The total number of vascular procedures, lower extremity bypasses, and endovascular interventions from 2000 to 2010 were analyzed from case logs of vascular residents as reported by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Results: The average number of cases performed by vascular residents has increased by 150% from 463.9 in 2000 to 1168 in 2009, due to the increased number of endovascular procedures. The average number of endovascular revascularizations has increased by 317% from 40.5 performed in 2000 to 168.9 in 2009. Femoral-popliteal bypasses have increased in frequency by 27% whereas the number of infrapopliteal bypass has remained unchanged. The largest difference is seen in femoral endarterectomies with a 234% increase from 3.2 per resident in 2001 to 10.7 per resident in 2010. Comparison of the proportion of femoral-popliteal and tibioperoneal interventions performed by angioplasty or bypass after 2007 revealed that endovascular interventions comprise 50% of procedures in the femoral-popliteal distribution, whereas 65% of infrapopliteal interventions are still performed using open techniques.

Conclusions: The number of procedures performed during vascular residency has dramatically increased over the last decade secondary to the increased number of endovascular procedures. The average vascular surgery resident's open operative experience has been stable over the last 10 years, despite the increasing endovascular case volume. Residents perform femoral endarterectomy with increasing frequency, perhaps representing an increasing volume of hybrid procedures. Gaps in information available for evaluating resident training remain a significant obstacle. Moving forward, revision of the current reporting system to a format that more accurately reflects resident experience would be beneficial.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate* / trends
  • Endovascular Procedures / education*
  • Endovascular Procedures / trends
  • Fellowships and Scholarships* / trends
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency* / trends
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / surgery*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / trends