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Cardiac surgeons after vacation: refreshed or rusty?

Welk B, Winick-Ng J, McClure A, Dubois L, Nagpal D. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017; 65(7):524-7. Epub 2017 May 16.


Introduction — Many surgeons describe feeling a bit out of practice when they return from a vacation. There have been no studies assessing the impact of surgeon vacation on patient outcomes.

Methods — We used administrative data from the province of Ontario to identify patients who underwent a coronary artery bypass grafting. Using a propensity score, we matched patients who underwent their procedure immediately after their surgeon returned from vacation of at least 7 days (n = 1,161) to patients who were not operated immediately before or after a vacation period (n = 2,138).

Results — There was no significant difference in patient mortality (odds ratio: 1.23, p = 0.52), length of operation (relative risk [RR]: 1.00 p = 0.58), or intensive care unit/hospital stay (RR: 0.97 p = 0.66/RR: 0.98 p = 0.54, respectively).

Conclusion — There was not a significant change in risk of death, operative length, or hospital stay after a surgeon vacation.

Keywords: Surgery Cardiovascular diseases Treatment outcomes

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