Acute Care Surgery for Transplant Recipients: A National Survey of Surgeon Perspectives and Practices

Sandra R. DiBrito, Mary Grace Bowring, Courtenay M. Holscher, Christine E. Haugen, Sarah V. Rasmussen, Mark D Duncan, David Thomas Efron, Kent A Stevens, Dorry Segev, Jacqueline Garonzik, Elliott Haut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Transplant recipients are living longer than ever before, and occasionally require acute care surgery for nontransplant-related issues. We hypothesized that while both acute care surgeons (ACS) and transplant surgeons would feel comfortable operating on this unique patient population, both would believe transplant centers provide superior care. Methods: To characterize surgeon perspectives, we conducted a national survey of ACS and transplant surgeons. Surgeon- and center-specific demographics were collected; surgeon preferences were compared using χ2, Fisher's exact, and Kruskal–Wallis tests. Results: We obtained 230 responses from ACS and 204 from transplant surgeons. ACS and transplant surgeons believed care is better at transplant centers (78% and 100%), and transplant recipients requiring acute care surgery should be transferred to a transplant center (80.2% and 87.2%). ACS felt comfortable operating (97.5%) and performing laparoscopy (94.0%) on transplant recipients. ACS cited transplant medication use as the most important underlying cause of increased surgical complications for transplant recipients. Transplant surgeons felt it was their responsibility to perform acute care surgery on transplant recipients (67.3%), but less so if patient underwent transplant at a different institution (26.5%). Transplant surgeons cited poor transplanted organ resiliency as the most important underlying cause of increased surgical complications for transplant recipients. Conclusions: ACS and transplant surgeons feel comfortable performing laparoscopic and open acute care surgery on transplant recipients, and recommend treating transplant recipients at transplant centers, despite the lack of supportive evidence. Elucidating common goals allows surgeons to provide optimal care for this unique patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume243
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Acute care surgery
  • Surgeon practice pattern
  • Transplant recipients
  • Transplant surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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