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Research Letter
October 30, 2020

Association Between Surgical Technical Skill and Long-term Survival for Colon Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1American College of Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern Institute for Comparative Effectiveness Research in Oncology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center, Department of Surgery, Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(1):127-129. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.5462

Surgical technique is presumed to be an important determinant of patient outcomes. Surgical technical skill, measured by video review, has been associated with postoperative morbidity and histopathologic outcomes.1-3 However, it is unknown whether technical skill is associated with long-term survival. Our objective was to assess the association between surgical technical skill and overall survival following colectomy for colon cancer.

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    1 Comment for this article
    Surgical skills still matter.
    Rainer Moosdorf, University-Professor | University of Marburg Medical School
    Quality control in surgical specialties has frequently been focused on departments, their structures and their volumes of procedures. These parameters do of course play a role in terms of the whole perioperative setting, which gains more and more importance among an increasing number of elderly and multimorbid patients. Many clinical courses depend essentially on the perioperative and especially the critical care. However, surgical skill is still the second cornerstone of outcome and any of us has experienced such exceptional representatives of our specialty. Congrats to the method of "measuring" skill. Many of the parameters are known to us but have never been defined so clearly and objectively.