The collaboration and rapport between surgeons and anesthesia professionals play a vital role in ensuring positive patient outcomes. While the benefits of familiarity among team members have been extensively explored in various fields, its impact in the operating room remains relatively unexplored.
This retrospective cohort study was carried out in Ontario, Canada, to investigate the correlation between the familiarity of surgeon-anesthesiologist pairs, measured by the frequency of previous collaborations, and the immediate postoperative outcomes of complex gastrointestinal cancer surgeries.
Surgeon-anesthesiologist familiarity was assessed by calculating the annual numbers of procedures performed by each dyad over a four-year period. The primary outcome of interest was the occurrence of major morbidity within ninety days following the surgery. The key variable investigated was the annual volume of cases performed by each unique surgeon-anesthesiologist pair.
The study included a total of 7,893 index procedures. These procedures were conducted by 737 anesthesiologists and 163 surgeons across 17 hospitals. The median annual volume was 27 procedures for surgeons and 6 procedures for anesthesiologists. The median dyad volume was 1 procedure per year, ranging from 0 to 12.3 procedures per year.
A clear linear relationship was observed between the volume of procedures performed by the dyad and the occurrence of major morbidity within 90 days. With each additional instance of collaboration between a specific surgeon-anesthesiologist dyad, there was a 5% reduction in the odds of experiencing major morbidity within 90 days.
In the case of adults undergoing complex gastrointestinal cancer surgery, there was a positive correlation observed between the familiarity of the surgeon-anesthesiologist dyad and enhanced short-term patient outcomes.