Surgical experience and the practice of pancreatoduodenectomy
Experienced surgeons demonstrate improved pancreatoduodenectomy outcomes, but little is known about what distinguishes their practice. Furthermore, the concept of experience has been variably interpreted in the surgical literature. We investigated how 4 interpretations of experience influence pancreatoduodenectomy management decisions.Methods.
A survey assessing pancreatoduodenectomy practice patterns was distributed by 6 surgical societies. Regression analysis identified behaviors associated with 4 forms of experience: years in practice, surpassing the learning curve (≥50 pancreatoduodenectomies), high annual volume (≥25 pancreatoduodenectomy/year), and high career volume (>200 pancreatoduodenectomy).Results.
In the study, 861 surgeons responded, representing 6 continents. Senior surgeons were more likely to use pancreatogastrostomy, dunking/invagination, and external stents (all P < .05). Sixty-five percent of respondents surpassed the learning curve, and these surgeons were more likely to use a 2-layer pancreatic enteric anastomosis, stents, and the Fistula Risk Score (all P < .05). High annual volume surgeons were more likely to use the same reconstruction on every case and autologous tissue patches but less likely to use the Roux limb technique and multiple drains (all P < .05). High career volume surgeons mirrored the behaviors of those surpassing the learning curve except for using the Fistula Risk Score.Conclusion.
Experience encompasses several components, each of which seems to influence decision making in different ways.