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Messina A.,Poliambulanza Foundation Hospital | Villa E.,Poliambulanza Foundation Hospital | Mhagna Z.,Poliambulanza Foundation Hospital | Dalla Tomba M.,Poliambulanza Foundation Hospital | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery | Year: 2010

Objective: Our unit has used off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) surgery since 1998, and has consequently developed teaching methods for surgical trainees. This study aimed to compare the medium-term results of OPCAB performed by experts or supervised trainees. Methods: We retrospectively analysed the data relating to 1333 OPCAB operations performed between January 1998 and January 2006 (mean patient age: 65.3 ± 13; M/F ratio: 2.9), and compared the medium-term outcomes of the 977 (73.3%) carried out by three expert surgeons (group A) with the remaining 356 (26.7%) carried out by four supervised trainees (group B). Results: There were no preoperative differences in patient age, gender, angina class, operative priority, extent of coronary artery disease, the presence of a recent myocardial infarction or left main stenosis or European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE) between the two groups. Thirty-day mortality was 1% in group A and 0.6% in group B (p=0.43), and 4-year actuarial survival, respectively, 97.4 ± 1.1% and 94.3 ± 4.1% (p=0.41); the freedom from new re-vascularisation rates in the two groups were, respectively, 96 ± 0.7% and 95.3 ± 1.4% (p=0.3). Conclusions: The results of this study reflect our unit's long experience of OPCAB surgery and that its successful re-engineering towards the systematic use of OPCAB was feasible. They also show that, in this context, teaching OPCAB surgery is safe in a non-selected cohort of patients, and that the medium-term outcomes of the patients operated on by trainee or expert surgeons are similar. © 2010 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.

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