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Am J Surg. 2005 Jun;189(6):738-41.

Comparing results of residents and attending surgeons to determine whether laparoscopic colectomy is safe.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA 19001, USA.



This study was undertaken to compare the technical success and outcomes of laparoscopic colectomy performed by resident surgeons (RS) and attending surgeons (AS).


A review of 451 consecutive laparoscopic colectomies performed by 2 surgeons either with or without a general surgery resident. Data reviewed included demographics, diagnoses, operative data, and outcomes. Comparison was made between patients operated on by RS under attending surgeon supervision, and patients operated on by AS alone.


Of 451 patients, 324 were operated on by RS and 127 by AS. The mean age and preoperative diagnoses were similar between groups. Operative time was significantly longer in the RS group (155 minutes vs. 128 minutes, P < .05). Blood loss was slightly higher in RS groups but was not statistically significant (191 mL vs. 174 mL, P = .31). The incidence of conversion to an open procedure, postoperative complications, and length of stay were similar between groups.


Supervised RS can safely perform laparoscopic colectomy with results similar to AS. RS take longer to perform the procedure than AS.

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