Outcomes in Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Implications for Surgical Resident Education

Academic Article


  • Objectives: Some surgery residents feel inadequately prepared to perform advanced operations, partly due to losing operative opportunities to fellows. In turn, they are prompted to pursue fellowships. Allowing residents the opportunity to participate in advanced procedures and complex cases may alleviate this cycle, if their participation is safe. This study examined the effects of resident participation in laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures (LRYGBs). Design: Our MBSAQIP database was used to identify LRYGBs performed at our institution between 2015 and 2018. Operative notes were reviewed to determine training level of the assistant. Patient comorbidities and outcomes (duration of surgery, length of stay, post-operative complications, readmissions, and reoperations) were stratified by assistant level of training for comparison. Setting: Urban tertiary care hospital. Participants: Trainees and attending surgeons acting as assistants during LRYGBs. Results: Among 987 total cases, the assistants for the procedures were chief residents (n = 549, 56%), fourth-year residents (n = 258, 26%), attending surgeons (n = 143, 14%), and third-year residents (n = 37, 4%). Attending surgeons assisted more often when patients had a BMI ≥ 45 (38% attendings vs. 25% residents, p = 0.007), ≥ 2 comorbidities (54% vs. 40%, p = 0.007), or had a history of prior bariatric surgery (22% vs. 3%, p < 0.0001).Post-operative complication rate was low (4%) and did not differ significantly between all training levels (p = 0.86). Average length of stay, readmission rates, and reoperation rates were not significantly different across training levels (p = 0.75, p = 0.072, and p = 0.91 respectively). Conclusion: Complication rates, hospital length of stay, readmission rates, and reoperation rates were equivalent for patients regardless of the level of training of the assistant for LRYGBs. Involving residents in complex bariatric procedures such as LRYGB is a safe model of education that does not compromise patient safety or hospital outcomes. Involvement in advanced cases allows general surgery residents to more confidently move toward independent practice.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zambare WV; Hess DT; Kenzik K; Pernar LI
  • Start Page

  • e161
  • End Page

  • e168
  • Volume

  • 78
  • Issue

  • 6