Participation of Colon and Rectal Fellows in Robotic Rectal Cancer Surgery: Effect on Surgical Outcomes

Danielle Collins, Nikolaos Machairas, Emilie Duchalais, Ron G. Landmann, Amit Merchea, Dorin T. Colibaseanu, Scott R. Kelley, Kellie L. Mathis, Eric J. Dozois, David W. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine whether involvement of colon and rectal fellows has an effect on short-term surgical and oncological outcomes in robotic rectal cancer surgery. Patients and Methods: From a dataset of 263 robotic-assisted rectal cancer operations, 114 case-matched patients over a 5-year period (January 2010-December 2015) were included in the study. Patients who underwent resection with and without fellow involvement were compared. Cases were matched according to age, body mass index, neoadjuvant therapy, and tumor location. Intraoperative, postoperative, and pathological outcomes were compared between the 2 groups. Results: There was no difference in tumor grade, type of surgical procedure, presence of an anastomosis, or diverting stoma between groups. In addition, there was no difference in the incidence of intraoperative or postoperative complications between the 2 groups. Estimated blood loss was higher in the fellow group compared to the consultant group (mean difference of 70 mL, p = 0.007). For pathological outcomes, there was no difference in surrogate oncological quality indicators, specifically margin positivity and lymph node yield, between the 2 groups. Furthermore, fellow involvement did not adversely affect operative time. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that equivalent short-term surgical and oncological outcomes can be achieved with colorectal fellow participation in the field of robotic-assisted rectal cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Professionalism
  • colorectal fellowship
  • robotic surgery
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Surgery


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