Introduction: Short duration of surgery is an important aspect in fast-track protocols. Peroperative training of surgical residents could influence the duration of surgery, possibly affecting patient outcome. This study evaluates the influence of the operator’s level of experience on patient outcome in fast-track bariatric surgery. Methods: Data was analyzed of all patients who underwent a primary laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) between January 2004 and July 2018. Residents were trained according to a stepwise training program. For each operator, learning curves of both procedures were created by dividing the procedures in time-subsequent groups (TSGs). Data was also analyzed by comparing “beginners” with “experienced operators,” with a cut-off point at 100 procedures. Primary outcome measure was duration of surgery. Secondary outcome measures were length of hospital stay (LOS), complications, and readmission rate within 30 days postoperatively. Results: There were 4901 primary procedures (53.1% LSG) performed by seven surgeons or surgical residents. We found no difference between beginning and experienced operators in complications or readmissions rates. The experience of the operator did not influence LOS (p = 0.201). Comparing each new operator with previous operator(s), the starting point in terms of duration of surgery was shorter, and the learning curve was steeper. The duration of surgery was significantly longer for supervised beginning operators as compared with experienced operators. Conclusion: Within the stepwise training program for residents, there is a slight increase in duration of surgery in the beginning of the learning curve, without affecting the patient outcome.

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Keywords Enhanced recovery, ERABS, Learning curve, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, Sleeve gastrectomy
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Journal Obesity Surgery
Leeman, M. (M.), Vijgen, G.H.E.J, Apers, J.A. (J. A.), Zengerink, J.F, Verhoef, C, Dunkelgrun, M, & Biter, L.U. (2020). The Influence of Surgical Experience on Postoperative Recovery in Fast-Track Bariatric Surgery. Obesity Surgery. doi:10.1007/s11695-020-04399-2