Attending Surgeon Influences Operative Time More Than Resident Level in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

James E. Wiseman, Lilah F. Morris-Wiseman, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Taylor S. Riall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Prior studies on laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) have concluded that resident involvement lengthens operative time without impacting outcomes. However, the lack of effect of resident level on operative duration has not been explained. We hypothesized that attending-specific influence on average operative time for LC is more pronounced than resident post-graduate year level. Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed all LC cases performed on patients 18 y and older between November 2018 and March 2020 at 2 academic medical center-affiliated hospitals. Regression models were used to compare operative times, conversion to open rates, and complication rates by attending surgeon and resident level. Results: Nine hundred twenty-five LCs were performed over the study period, 862 (93.1%) with resident participation. Of the 44.5% variation in operative time was explained by differences in attending surgeon, as compared to 11.0% attributable to differences in resident level (P < 0.0001). This effect persisted after adjusting for patient and disease factors (33.0% versus 7.1%, P < 0.0001). Neither attending surgeon (P = 0.80), nor the level of the involved resident (P = 0.94) demonstrated a significant effect on the conversion-to-open rate (4.9%). Similarly, neither the attending surgeon (P = 0.33), nor resident level (P = 0.81) significantly affected the complication rate (8.58%). Conclusions: Operative time for LC is primarily determined by patient- and disease-specific factors; resident level has no effect on conversion to open or complication rates. Attending influence on operative time was more pronounced than resident level influence. These findings suggest attending surgeon-related factors are more important than resident experience in determining operative duration for LC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-570
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • Operative time
  • Resident education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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