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Comparative Study
, 28 (5), 1563-70

Comparison of the Outcomes for Laparoscopic Gastrectomy Performed by the Same Surgeon Between a Low-Volume Hospital and a High-Volume Center

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Comparative Study

Comparison of the Outcomes for Laparoscopic Gastrectomy Performed by the Same Surgeon Between a Low-Volume Hospital and a High-Volume Center

Min Gyu Kim et al. Surg Endosc.

Abstract

Background: The volume-outcome relationship in laparoscopic surgery is controversial. This study was designed to identify differences in laparoscopic gastrectomy outcomes between a low-volume hospital and a high-volume center and to provide guidelines for overcoming the problems associated with a low-volume hospital.

Methods: From April 2009 to November 2012, one surgeon performed 134 totally laparoscopic distal gastrectomies (TLDGs) at a high-volume center (HVC; ASAN Medical Center) and at a low-volume hospital (LVH; Hanyang University Guri Hospital). All laparoscopically assisted gastrectomies were excluded from this study. During the early period of laparoscopic gastrectomy at the low-volume hospital, TLDG with Roux-en-Y gastrojejunostomy (RYGJ) was performed according to the surgeon's choice. The reconstruction method was classified as gastroduodenostomy (GD) or RYGJ. Early surgical outcomes achieved at the LVH were investigated and compared with those obtained at the HVC.

Results: The early surgical outcomes differed significantly between the two hospitals. In particular, the postoperative complication rate for the patients who underwent TLDG RYGJ at the LVH was higher than at the HVC (LVH 15.4 % vs. HVC 0 %; p = 0.037). Furthermore, significant differences were observed in the mean operation time (TLDG GD: LVH 141.0 min vs. HVC 117.4 min, p = 0.001; TLDG RYGJ: LVH 186.3 min vs. HVC 134.6 min, p = 0.009) and length of hospital stay (TLDG GD: LVH 8.1 days vs. HVC 7.2 days, p = 0.044; TLDG RYGJ: LVH 11.5 day vs. HVC 6.8 day, p = 0.009).

Conclusions: Although all the operations were performed by one experienced surgeon, the early surgical outcomes differed significantly between the low- and high-volume hospitals. Low-volume hospitals often lack well-trained surgical professionals such as first assistants and scrub nurses. Therefore, the authors recommend that a surgeon who works at an LVH should assess potential personnel shortages and find a solution before operating.

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