Hospital Volume and Quality of Laparoscopic Gastrectomy in Japan

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Background:Laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG) has become the prevailing surgery of choice for gastric cancer, but the impact of hospital volume or operating room (OR) time has not been evaluated. An observational study was conducted to assess the quality of LG based on hospital volume and OR time.Methods:3,054 LG patients were enrolled in 420 hospitals throughout Japan. Analyzed variables included patient demographics, complications, use of stapling devices or chemotherapy, hospital volume, and teaching status. Hospitals were categorized into high- (≥4 LG per month), intermediate- (1–3) and low- (<1) volume hospitals. Multivariate analysis was used to measure hospital volume and OR time impact.Results:259 laparoscopic total gastrectomies (LTGs) were performed. Complications were observed in 269 cases (8.8%). High-volume hospitals treated less severe cases. OR time, but not hospital volume, was associated with complications. Hospital volume, teaching status and stapling devices explained variations in OR time.Conclusion:OR time was a more significant predictor of complications than hospital volume. OR time was consumed more in the employment of stapling devices and LTG. To promote LG efficiency, training curricula highlighting the applicability of these techniques should be considered by clinical experts.

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