Background: While minimally invasive thoracic surgery (MIS) has increased nationwide over the years, most patients undergoing lung and esophageal resections still undergo an open approach. We performed a national survey to analyze factors associated with a propensity to perform MIS after completing a cardiothoracic training program. Materials and methods: Cardiothoracic surgery trainees in 2 or 3-year programs from 2010 to 2016 were sent an online survey regarding the numbers and types of cases performed during training and current practice patterns as attending surgeons. Comfort level with MIS was also assessed. Responses were recorded and analyzed using SPSS. Results: One hundred thirty-six trainees responded, with a mean of 121 lobectomies (30-250) and 40 esophagectomies (8-110) performed during training. Mean minimally invasive lobectomy and esophagectomy rates during training were 53% and 30% respectively. A greater ratio of MIS procedures performed during training correlated with a higher rate performed as an attending (lobectomies, p = 0.04; esophagectomies, p = 0.01) and a greater comfort level with performing these procedures (lobectomies, p = 0.01 and esophagectomies, p < 0.01). Conclusions: Based on these results, performing a greater ratio of minimally invasive lobectomies and esophagectomies during fellowship training increases the likelihood of performing them as an attending.
- Minimally invasive surgery thoracic surgery
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
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