Background: Controversy exists regarding whether resident involvement during surgery impacts patient outcomes. We compared surgical times and perioperative complications of patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy with and without residents. Methods: Patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated acute appendicitis during 2005 to 2008 were identified from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Results: During the study period, 16,849 patients underwent laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis (residents participated in 68% of procedures). There were no statistical and/or clinically meaningful differences between median age, sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiology score, and morbidity probability between the 2 groups, suggesting that case mix was not a significant confounder. Patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy with residents compared with patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy without residents had a higher incidence of serious and overall morbidity and longer surgical times. However, surgical times and complications were similar between residents in postgraduate years 1 to 5. Conclusions: Regardless of the postgraduate year level, resident involvement resulted in a clinically appreciable increase in surgical times and a statistically significant increase in certain complications.
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