Introduction: In a published analysis of all carotid endarterectomies (CEAs) performed in New York state from 1990 to 1995, perioperative mortality rate was inversely correlated with surgeon and hospital CEA volume, was significantly higher when CEAs were performed by surgeons who performed less than five CEAs annually, and was significantly lower in hospitals where surgeons performed more than 100 CEAs annually. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this information has influenced practice patterns in New York state. Methods: The database of the Center for Medical Consumers was queried to determine the volume distribution among surgeons and hospitals of all CEAs performed in New York state in 1999 and 2000. Results: During 1999, 695 surgeons in 169 hospitals performed 9458 CEAs (mean, 13.6 per surgeon). Three hundred fifty-three surgeons (51%) performed less than five CEAs, and 180 (26%) performed only one CEA during the year. Only 41 surgeons (6%) performed more than 50 CEAs. Likewise, in only 28 of the hospitals (17%) were more than 100 CEAs performed during 1999, whereas in 73 of the hospitals (43%) 20 or less CEAs were carried out during the year. During 2000, 684 surgeons performed 8196 CEAs in 165 hospitals. Three hundred fifty-three (52%) performed less than five CEAs, and 229 (33%) performed only one CEA during the year. Only 33 surgeons (5%) performed more than 50 CEAs during 2000. In only 26 hospitals (16%) were more than 100 CEAs performed during 2000, whereas in 71 hospitals (43%) 20 or less CEAs were carried out. Conclusion: It appears that published compelling evidence that operator and institutional volume influence outcome has not influenced referral patterns or lead to a regionalization of CEA care in New York state. Robust educational programs directed to patients and referring physicians appear indicated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine