Background Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been performed since the 1950s and remains one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. The procedure is performed by cardiothoracic, general, neurologic, and vascular surgeons. This study uses data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) to examine the outcomes after CEA when performed by general or vascular surgeons. Materials and methods Data included 34,493 CEAs from years 2005 to 2010 recorded in the NSQIP database. Primary outcomes measured were length of stay, 30-d mortality, surgical site infection, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, and blood transfusion requirement. Secondary outcomes measured were the remaining intraoperative outcomes from the NSQIP database. Results After controlling for patient and surgical characteristics, patients treated by general surgeons did not have a significantly different LOS or 30-d mortality than those treated by vascular surgeons. Patients of general surgeons had nearly twice the risk of acquiring a surgical site infection (odds ratio [OR] = 1.94; P = 0.012), >1.5 times the risk of cerebrovascular accident (OR = 1.56; P = 0.008), and >1.8 times the risk of blood transfusion (OR = 1.85; P = 0.017) than those of vascular surgeons. Patients of general surgeons had less than half the risk of having a myocardial infarction (OR = 0.34; P = 0.031) than those of vascular surgeons. Conclusions Surgical specialty is associated with a wide range of postoperative outcomes after CEA. Additional research is needed to explore practice and cultural differences across surgical specialty that may lead to outcome differences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes