Background There has been a proliferation of gastrointestinal surgical fellowships; however, little is known regarding their association with surgical volume and management approaches. Methods Surveys were distributed to members of GI surgical societies. Responses were evaluated to define relationships between fellowship training and surgical practice with pancreatoduodenectomy (PD). Results Surveys were completed by 889 surgeons, 84.1% of whom had completed fellowship training. Fellowship completion was associated with a primarily HPB or surgical oncology-focused practice (p < 0.001), and greater median annual PD volume (p = 0.030). Transplant and HPB fellowship-trained respondents were more likely to have high-volume (≥20) annual practice (p = 0.005 and 0.029, respectively). Regarding putative fistula mitigation strategies, HPB-trained surgeons were more likely to use stents, biologic sealants, and autologous tissue patches (p = 0.007, <0.001 and 0.001, respectively). Surgical oncology trainees reported greater autologous patch use (p = 0.003). HPB fellowship-trained surgeons were less likely to routinely use intraperitoneal drainage (p = 0.036) but more likely to utilize early (POD ≤ 3) drain amylase values to guide removal (p < 0.001). Finally, HPB fellowship-trained surgeons were more likely to use the Fistula Risk Score in their practice (29 vs. 21%, p = 0.008). Conclusion Fellowship training correlated with significant differences in surgeon experience, operative approach, and use of available fistula mitigation strategies for PD.
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