Two-surgeon team enhances performance of inexperienced surgeons treating scoliosis
According to published results, a two-surgeon model allows inexperienced surgeons to achieve consistent and reproducible operative performance when treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
William Bassett, MD, and colleagues performed a single-center, retrospective study of data from 72 patients who underwent surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) from January 2012 and December 2015 with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Three cohorts of operating surgeons were assessed: an inexperienced surgeon group (IS), an experienced surgeon group (ES) and a group in which the primary surgeon was in the experienced group and the assistant surgeon was in the inexperienced group (EIS).
According to the study, outcome measures included Lenke classification, levels fused, length of surgery, length of stay, percent of curve correction, blood loss and complications.
Overall, Bassett and colleagues found “no significant differences” among all outcome measure besides length of stay, in which patients treated by the IS group had a “significantly shorter” length of stay compared with those treated by the ES and EIS groups.
“The two-surgeon model is an effective tool for providing more consistent and reproducible surgical performance, which leads to more predictable and optimal outcomes following complex scoliosis surgery,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Inexperienced surgeons operating among a more consistent team environment with a skilled co-pilot elevate their intraoperative performance to the level of their more experienced peers, and postoperatively their patients have similar complication rates and shorter length of hospital stay,” they added.