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Highly specialized and busy surgeons may be the best option for complex procedures, study suggests

Posted Date: September 29, 2016

A study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) in July found reduced mortality rates and complications for certain procedures performed by highly specialized and active surgeons, compared to generalists.

The study included 695,000 surgeries completed by 25,000 US surgeons over a six-year period between 2008 and 2013. Patients who had undergone complicated cancer or heart surgeries showed significantly lower mortality rates, by as much as 50%, for six of eight procedures when they were performed by a surgeon whose practice accounted for a larger proportion of the specific surgery. One of the study’s researchers, Nikhil Sahni, suggested that patients ask their surgeon how many of the procedures they perform each year, and that they consider this information when selecting a specialist. Read the full article here.