Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Coll Surg. 2009 Jul;209(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2009.02.063. Epub 2009 May 1.

Risk tolerance and bile duct injury: surgeon characteristics, risk-taking preference, and common bile duct injuries.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6410, USA.



Little is known about surgeon characteristics associated with common bile duct injury (CBDI) during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Risk-taking preferences can influence physician behavior and practice. We evaluated self-reported differences in characteristics and risk-taking preference among surgeons with and without a reported history of CBDI.


A mailed survey was sent to 4,100 general surgeons randomly selected from the mailing list of the American College of Surgeons. Surveys with a valid exclusion (retired, no LC experience) were considered responsive, but were excluded from data analysis.


Forty-four percent responded (1,412 surveys analyzed), 37.7% reported being the primary surgeon when a CBDI occurred, and 12.9% had more than one injury. Surgeons reporting an injury were slightly older (52.8 +/- 9.0 years versus 51.3 +/- 9.8 years; p < 0.004) and in practice longer (20.8 +/- 9.7 years versus 18.9 +/- 10.5 years; p < 0.001). Surgeons not reporting a CBDI were more likely trained in LC during residency (63.3% versus 55.4% injuring) as compared with surgeons reporting a CBDI, who were more likely trained at an LC course (29.8% versus 38.2%). Surgeons in academic practice or who work with residents had lower reported rates of CBDI (7.9% versus 14.5% [academics]; 18.7% versus 25.0% [residents]). Mean risk score was 12.4 +/- 4.4 (range 6 to 30 [30 = highest]) with a similar average between those who did (12.2 +/- 4.5) and did not (11.9 +/- 4.4) report a CBDI (p < 0.23). Compared with surgeons in the lowest three deciles of risk score, relative risk for CBDI among surgeons in the upper three deciles was 17% greater (p = 0.07).


More years performing LC and certain practice characteristics were associated with an increased rate of CBDI. The impact of extremes of risk-taking preference on surgical decision making can be an important part of decreasing adverse events during LC and should be evaluated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center