Which Cholecystectomy Technique Would Surgeons Prefer on Themselves?


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Abstract

Background:As the minimally invasive surgery revolution approaches 30 years, many techniques are now available for cholecystectomy: open, conventional laparoscopy, ini-laparoscopy, single incision, robotic, and natural orifice. Although much has been published about patient preferences regarding these techniques, less is known about surgeon perceptions and preferences. The aim of this study was to survey attending and trainee surgeons about which cholecystectomy technique they would prefer for themselves and what factors determine their decision.Methods:Attending fellow and resident surgeons globally completed a Google Forms online questionnaire that was posted in 3 closed groups for surgeons on Facebook and WhatsApp.Results:The online questionnaire was completed by 600 surgeons (453 attending surgeons and 147 residents/fellows). Most respondents were male individuals (87.6% of attending surgeons, 78.2% of trainee surgeons). The most common age range of respondents was 31 to 40 years. Surgeon response was global, with especially good representation from North American, Asian, and European physicians. When conventional laparoscopy, mini-laparoscopy, and robotic surgery were the options offered for cholecystectomy, 58.5% of trainees and 45.7% of surgeons chose conventional laparoscopy. When asked if they would consider a single-incision or natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery approach, 91.5% answered no. When asked which technique they would prefer if hypothetically all techniques were equally safe, about three-fourths chose either conventional laparoscopy (46%) or mini-laparoscopy (27%). When asked to rank which factors they considered most important in choosing a surgical technique, surgeon experience (52%) and safety of the procedure (45%) were the 2 most important factors.Conclusions:When an international sample of 600 attending and trainee surgeons were asked about undergoing a cholecystectomy on themselves, most chose either conventional laparoscopy or mini-laparoscopy as their preferred access technique. Single-incision and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery approaches were unpopular. Surgeons ranked the experience of the operating surgeon and safety of the procedure as the most important factors guiding their decision.

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