Who should be doing laparoscopic bariatric surgery?
BACKGROUND: The training and credentialing of surgeons for laparoscopic bariatric surgery is controversial. We sought to determine if there is an association between surgeons' practice and choice of open or laparoscopic bariatric surgery. METHODS: Members of the ASBS were surveyed via email. Associations were tested with Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel or Pearson's chi-square. RESULTS: 104/472 members responded; 65% were in private practice; 47% did 1-5 operations/week, 48% offered open procedures only, and 76% undertook gastric bypass. Respondents believe that laparoscopic procedures: should mimic open ones (77%), are safe (63%), should be evaluated by clinical trials (48%), and that expertise in bariatric surgery is more important than laparoscopic experience. 75% believe that courses and preceptorships are important. Regarding laparoscopic operations, surgeons doing only open procedures believe that: 1) the ASBS should be the main credentialing body; 2) surgeons should do > 25 open before laparoscopic ones; and 3) clinical trials are needed (P < 0.02, all). Surgeons with laparoscopic training or practices believe that laparoscopic surgery is safe and effective (P < 0.002). Both laparoscopic and open surgeons believe bariatric surgeons should be the only surgeons doing laparoscopic bariatric procedures (P < 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: There is consensus that laparoscopic bariatric surgery should be undertaken only by surgeons with strong interest in bariatric surgery. Laparoscopic bariatric surgeons should incorporate lessons learned from open surgery. Both laparoscopic and open bariatric surgeons should seek added expertise via courses and preceptorships. The skepticism of surgeons with 'open' practices could be addressed by clinical trials. The ASBS should maintain its leadership position and foster emerging technologies.
Al-Saif, O; Gallagher, SF; Banasiak, M; Shalhub, S; Shapiro, D; Murr, MM
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