Surgery for acute type A aortic dissection (ATAD) carries a high risk of operative mortality. We examined the surgeon volume-outcome relation with respect to in-hospital mortality for patients presenting with this pathology in the United Kingdom.Method
Between April 2007 and March 2013, 1550 ATAD procedures were identified from the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research database. A total of 249 responsible consultant cardiac surgeons from the United Kingdom recorded 1 or more of these procedures in their surgical activity over this period. We describe the patient population and mortality rates, focusing on the relationship between surgeon volume and in-hospital mortality.Results
The mean annual volume of procedures per surgeon during the 6-year period ranged from 1 to 6.6. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 18.3% (283/1550). A mortality improvement at the 95% level was observed with a risk-adjusted mean annual volume >4.5. Surgeons with a mean annual volume <4 over the study period had significantly higher in-hospital mortality rates in comparison with surgeons with a mean annual volume ≥4 (19.3% vs 12.6%; P = .015).Conclusions
Patients with ATAD who are operated on by lower-volume surgeons experience higher levels of in-hospital mortality. Directing these patients to higher-volume surgeons may be a strategy to reduce in-hospital mortality.