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Patient-Surgeon Gender Concordance Does Not Impact Postoperative Mortality

Gender concordance linked to slightly lower mortality for female patients, higher mortality for male patients, but the difference was not clinically significant

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Postoperative mortality is similar regardless of patient-surgeon gender concordance, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in The BMJ.

Christopher J.D. Wallis, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study in acute care hospitals in the United States to examine whether patient-surgeon gender concordance is associated with mortality after surgery. Data were included for 2,902,756 patients who had one of 14 major elective or nonelective surgeries in 2016 to 2019.

Overall, 44.4 percent had operations done by surgeons of the same gender (41.4 percent male patient and male surgeon; 3.0 percent female patient and female surgeon) and 55.6 percent were by surgeons of a different gender (1.8 percent male patient and female surgeon; 53.8 percent female patient and male surgeon). The researchers found that the adjusted 30-day mortality was 2.0, 1.7, 1.5, and 1.3 percent for male patient-male surgeon dyads, male patient-female surgeon dyads, female patient-male surgeon dyads, and female patient-female surgeon dyads, respectively. Patient-surgeon gender concordance was associated with slightly lower and higher mortality for female and male patients, respectively (adjusted risk differences, −0.2 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively), but the difference was not clinically meaningful.

“We found that postoperative mortality was similar among the four types of patient-surgeon gender dyads,” the authors write. “The associations were heterogeneous across different types of surgical procedures, with no significant findings observed for nonelective surgeries.”

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