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New Study Shows That Your Surgeon’s Skills Really Matter


Ok.  Seems logical.  The better the surgeon, the better the outcome. Right?

But how can one know the skill of a surgeon in advance?  Well – researchers at the University of Michigan were curious too and conducted an in-depth study of gastric bypass surgeons to see if a way could be found to evaluate skills as well as surgical outcomes.

Step one in the project involved having each surgeon in the study videotape themselves performing this particular surgery. A team of other surgeons then reviewed each video and graded the study subjects on their level of surgical proficiency. The follow-up involved actual surgery results of gastric bypass surgery on over 10,000 patients by these same 20 surgeons, between 2006 and 2012.

What the study team found confirmed what one would expect… without exception, the surgeons scored as being most highly skilled had far better surgical outcomes.  Here are some of the actual results:

  • The least-skilled surgeons had nearly triple the rate of complications, 14.5% versus 5.2%.
  • The least-skilled surgeons required longer operations, 137 minutes versus 98 minutes.
  • Although death is a very rare outcome for gastric bypass surgery, patients had a higher risk of dying if their operation was done by the least-skilled doctors, 0.26% versus 0.05%.

Obviously, this study was but a small sample of surgeons – and there are tens of thousands of surgeons in the United States. Scoring them all in the fashion chosen for this study would be virtually impossible, and certainly unlikely. But if a way could be found to score surgeons – those with questionable skills would come under tremendous pressure to improve or leave the profession – something that would be very good for consumers and medicine alike. Lives would be saved and costs might actually come down.

If you are ever the victim of medical malpractice call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer.  A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases over our more than 65 years serving the people of Connecticut.

What’s more, our Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases including:

  • Top listings in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms”
  • Top listing by Martindale-Hubbell as a “New England Top Rated AV Preeminent® Law Firm
  • Admission of five of our personal injury lawyers as members in the very prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.  The American College is a professional society of Fellows who become members only by invitation, with admission limited to experienced, outstanding trial lawyers who are unquestionably and eminently qualified as actively engaged trial lawyers.  Only 1% of all trial lawyers in any state are offered admission as members to the College
  • Listing in New England Super Lawyers published by Connecticut Magazine.  Less than 5% of attorneys in the New England states receive this honor
  • Lifetime Achievement awards from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and the Connecticut Law Tribune
  • Board Certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy

We have a great team dedicated to medical malpractice cases. Our offices are in Hartford but we are available to meet with you in your home or office if that is easier for you. Please contact us if we can help you.

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