ACS 2018: Impact of Surgeon Age on Preference for Open vs. Laparoscopic/Robotic Partial and Radical Nephrectomy: Potential Implications of an Aging Workforce

Boston, Massachusetts ( Jason R. Lomboy, MD analyzed recent American Board of Urology recertification case logs to identify the presence of a statistically significant difference and trends in surgeon age for open versus laparoscopic/robotic partial and radical nephrectomy over the last 10 years. They extracted 5 CPT codes representing partial and radical nephrectomy and divided them into 4 groups to represent each approach. They analyzed the mean surgeon age of each surgery and approach annually over a 10-year period (2008-2017). Statistical significance was demonstrated by comparing 95% confidence intervals.

They identified a total of 33,375 cases performed. From 2008 to 2017, the percentage of all nephrectomies performed by the laparoscopic/robotic approach increased from 68.4% to 84.0%. Open nephrectomy trended towards older surgeons however only achieved statistical significance (p (p <0.05) in partial nephrectomy from 2014 to 2015.

In summary, these findings suggest that while there may seem to be an apparent difference in mean age in terms of approach for this type of surgery, future resident training and patient access to both techniques may not be negatively affected by the aging urologist workforce. However, future research is required to continue studying these important trends and how they relate to the developing shortage of urologists.

Presented by: Jason R. Lomboy, MD, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Stone Disease, Surgical Oncology, Urology Resident Physician at UNC Health Care, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 

Written by: Stephen B. Williams, MD., Associate Professor, Division of Urology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. and Ashish M. Kamat, MD. Professor, Department of Urology, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX at the 2018 American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, October 21-25, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts