Relationship between surgeon volume and outcomes: a systematic review of systematic reviews.

A systematic review of 32 separate systematic reviews, yielded a trend of surgeon volume-outcome relationship for the following procedures/conditions: AAA, cystectomy, esophageal cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic surgery, radical prostatectomy, and total knee arthroplasty.  Overall, the systematic reviews tend to support the presence of a surgeon volume-outcome relationship. This is most clear-cut in colorectal cancer, bariatric surgery, and breast cancer where high quality reviews demonstrate large volume-outcome effects.  These findings support calls for “minimum volume thresholds” for surgeons by expert panels.


Lagoe et al., "Inpatient hospital complications and lengths of stay: a short report", Biomedcentral Research Notes, (2011), 4:135.