SEATTLE – Hospitals that perform at least one nongastric conduit esophageal reconstruction per year have half the esophagectomy mortality of hospitals that do not, according to a review by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., of 11,211 esophagectomies in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2000 to 2011.
“There is tremendous variation in outcome after esophagectomy, and some advocate for regionalization to high-volume hospitals,” the investigators said. The findings suggest that case complexity could be one of the things that help define which hospitals do it best, they added.
The study seems to confirm that hospital case volume makes a difference in surgical outcomes, said Dr. Nabil Rizk, a thoracic surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Dr. Rizk, a discussant on the paper at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery annual meeting, explained how the study fits into regionalization trends, but also shared his concerns about the work in an interview at the meeting.