Carotid endarterectomy is rapidly becoming one of the most commonly performed major surgical operations in the United States, in part because of the greater availability of noninvasive techniques to accurately diagnose extracranial carotid arterial disease and a low reported morbidity and mortality. We retrospectively reviewed the records for all carotid endarterectomies performed in the greater Cincinnati area for a recent 12-month period and examined the impact of surgical specialty and operative caseload on the results. Altogether, 750 operations were performed on 656 patients by 61 surgeons working in 16 general medical-surgical hospitals. Overall, strokes occurred in 5.1% of all patients; 2.3% of patients died. Symptomatic patients had a significantly higher risk of suffering a postoperative stroke compared with asymptomatic patients (6.5% vs. 3.7%), although the risk of death was virtually identical (2.4% vs. 2.1%). When the operating surgeons were classified into four types on the basis of their previous training, no statistically significant differences in either postoperative stroke or death could be identified. Furthermore, when the surgical caseloads of these physicians were grouped into three categories (i.e., less than 12 each year, more than 50 each year, and a group between these two extremes), no significant differences in outcome were seen. We concluded that our community-wide results for carotid endarterectomy were not comparable to those previously published from specialized centers and that these results did not appear to be influenced by the type of formal surgical specialty or operative caseload.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine