Surgical impact of a dedicated endocrine surgeon on an academic otolaryngology department

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The Laryngoscope


OBJECTIVES: Endocrine surgery is emerging as a dedicated subspecialty in otolaryngology. We assess the impact of an endocrine surgeon on an academic otolaryngology department's thyroid and parathyroid surgery volume.

METHODS: A retrospective study of overall endocrine caseloads and resident case logs at a single academic center in the Midwest was performed. All thyroid and parathyroid cases performed by the otolaryngology department at an academic center from 2011 to 2017 were reviewed. In September 2012, an otolaryngologist who had completed an American Head and Neck Society endocrine surgery fellowship joined the faculty. The volume of endocrine surgery performed by the residents was also analyzed. Comparison of means and linear regression models were performed.

RESULTS: From 2011 to 2012, the department performed a mean of 77 thyroid and 11.5 parathyroid surgeries annually. After the endocrine surgeon joined the department, this increased to an average of 212.8 thyroidectomies (P < 0.01) and 72.4 parathyroidectomies (P < 0.01) a year. The head and neck surgeons and generalists still performed an average of 42.4 thyroidectomies and 2.6 parathyroidectomies a year. For graduating residents, the average number of thyroid/parathyroid cases increased from 42.5 in 2012 to 151 in 2016.

CONCLUSION: The addition of a fellowship-trained endocrine surgeon substantially increased the thyroid and parathyroid surgical volume of the otolaryngology department. Importantly, generalists and head and neck surgeons in the department continued to perform a significant number of these cases. Departments seeking similar surgical growth and expanded resident experience may consider the value of engaging a dedicated endocrine surgeon.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 2019.

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ePub ahead of print