The Impact of Different Postgraduate Year Training in Neurosurgery Residency on 30-Day Return to Operating Room: A National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Study

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

World Neurosurg


OBJECTIVE: Because of the health care initiative on quality improvement projects in academic medicine, this study explores the impact of different postgraduate years (PGYs) on unexpected re-operation rates.

METHODS: Using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program 2005-2014, adult neurosurgical cases were divided into subspecialties: spine, open vascular, cranial, and functional. Comparison groups were cases involving junior residents (PGY 1-PGY 3), mid-level residents (PGY 4 + PGY 5), and senior residents (PGY 6 + PGY 7). Comorbidity disease burden was measured by frailty index. The primary outcome measure was 30-day unintended return to the operating room.

RESULTS: Of the 9782 cases, re-operations were higher for those cases featuring a senior resident (5.6%) compared with mid-level resident (4.1%) and junior resident (3.8%) (P = 0.001). Although senior residents operated on patients with a statistically significantly higher neurologic disease burden, greater relative value units, longer operative times, and more 30-day postoperative adverse events, the level of resident training did not have an impact on revision surgery after multivariable logistical regression. The strongest predictors of return to the operating room included the frailty index (adjusted odds ratio [ORadj] = 5.18, P < 0.001), functional subspecialty (ORadj = 2.65, P < 0.001), and Wound Class 4 - dirty/infected wound (ORadj = 2.33, P = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS: Resident participation in neurosurgical cases does not affect 30-day unplanned re-operation rates, which were affected by frailty index, functional subspecialty, and wound class.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Clinical Competence; Female; Humans; Internship and Residency; Male; Middle Aged; Neurosurgery; Neurosurgical Procedures; Operating Rooms; Postoperative Complications; Quality Improvement; Time Factors; Treatment Outcome

PubMed ID




First Page


Last Page