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Middle-aged surgeons carry out the safest operations

Published on 11/01/2012

Patients with private medical insurance should check the age of their surgeon before they choose to go ahead with their procedure, suggest researchers.

Results from a small study indicate that middle-aged surgeons between aged 35 and 50 are the safest at carrying out operations.

Researchers looked at 3,500 thyroid gland removal operations carried out by 28 surgeons across five hospitals in France.

The thyroidectomy procedure was chosen because it is generally carried out in the same way by all surgeons, and technique has not changed dramatically over the years.

Published in bmj.com, their results show that there were more likely to be complications when operated on by inexperienced surgeons and those who had been in the job more than 20 years.

There was a link between a surgeon’s age and complication rates irrespective of how complex the surgical procedure was.

Prof Mike Larvin, of England's Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), said: "Given the pace of change in medical innovation it is certain that a surgeon at the end of his career will be undertaking a nearly completely different range of operations than at the outset.”

"This interesting study shows the importance of lifelong learning for surgeons - something the RCS supports by directly running courses for trainees and consultants and quality assuring courses run by others."

Researchers stress that the findings are not conclusive and more investigations are needed.

Private medical insurance gives patients complete control over their healthcare and treatment. Medical insurance allows you to be treated in a private hospital of your choice, with a consultant of your choice, so compare health insurance online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012


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