COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Off-pump coronary operations can be safely taught to cardiothoracic trainees

M Caputo, M H Chamberlain, F Ozalp, M J Underwood, F Ciulli, G D Angelini
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2001, 71 (4): 1215-9
11308162

BACKGROUND: Off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) operations are evolving rapidly and becoming established in many cardiothoracic centers. For the technique to be widely applicable, teaching methods must be developed for surgical trainees. Early and midterm clinical outcomes of OPCAB performed at our institution by trainees as first operators under supervision were compared to those obtained in patients operated on by consultants.

METHODS: Analysis was undertaken on data prospectively inserted in the Patient Analysis & Tracking System. Of the 559 OPCAB operations performed between January 1997 and May 2000, 124 (22%) were carried out by a supervised trainee and 435 (78%) by a consultant.

RESULTS: There was no difference in age, sex, angina class, New York Heart Association functional class, or operative priority and extent of coronary artery disease in the two groups. More patients operated on by consultants had a history of congestive heart failure requiring medical therapy, significantly lower ejection fraction, and higher Parsonnet score compared with patients operated on by trainees. Early and midterm clinical results, in terms of morbidity and mortality, were similar in patients operated on by trainees or by consultants.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data show no differences in early and midterm clinical outcome for patients undergoing OPCAB operations performed either by consultants or by trainees under supervision. The improvements in exposure and stabilization techniques, as well as the use of intracoronary shunts, have made it possible and safe to teach trainees off-pump multivessel coronary artery revascularization.

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