Impact of the Endovascular Revolution on Vascular Training Through Analysis of National Data Case Reports

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Journal of Vascular Surgery


Background: In the last couple decades, there has been a shift in use of endovascular procedures in vascular surgery. We aim to examine the impact of this endovascular shift on vascular trainees, determine whether surgical experiences of trainees in the integrated residency and fellowship program changed over time, and identify differences between the two training paradigms.

Methods: Data was extracted from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education National Data Case Logs for the vascular surgery fellowship (1999-2021) and integrated residency (2012-2021) programs. Every procedure was categorized as open or endovascular, then designated into the following subcategories: thoracic aneurysm repairs, cerebrovascular, abdominal aneurysm repairs, venous, vascular access, peripheral arterial disease, visceral, and miscellaneous. We compared the prevalence of open and endovascular cases in the fellowship and integrated residency using data from overlapping years (2012-2021). Also, we compared the mean number of cases per trainee per year within designated time intervals. The vascular surgery fellowship was grouped into three intervals: 1999-2006, 2006-2013, and 2013-2021; the integrated vascular surgery residency was grouped into two intervals: 2012-2017 and 2017-2021. Data were standardized to represent the average number of cases per trainee per year.

Results: Within the fellowship, we found a 362.37% increase in endovascular procedures (Mean±standard deviation, 56.80±32.57 vs. 262.63±9.91, p<0.001), while only a 32.47% increase in open procedures (220.19±4.55 vs. 291.68±8.20) between the first to last time intervals. There was a decrease in abdominal aneurysm repair (24.46±7.30 vs. 13.85±0.58, p<0.001) and visceral (6.41±0.44 vs. 5.80±0.42, p=0.039) open procedures. For the integrated residency, there was an increase in open procedures by 8.52% (352.18±8.23 vs. 382.20±5.84, p<0.001). Residents had a greater total, open, and endovascular procedures per year than fellows (all p<0.001). Chief residents had about half as many cases as vascular fellows per year. Fellows performed more open abdominal aneurysm repair (14.04±0.80 vs. 12.40±1.32, p=0.007) and visceral (5.83±0.41 vs. 4.88±0.46, p>0.001) procedures than residents. Overall, 52-53% of cases performed by trainees per year were open procedures in both the fellowship and integrated residency (288.56±12.10 vs. 261.27±10.13, 365.52±17.23 vs. 319.58±6.62, both p<0.001). Within the subcategories, only cerebrovascular, vascular access, and miscellaneous had more open procedures performed per trainee.

Conclusion: Vascular surgery training has incorporated new endovascular techniques and technologies while maintaining operative training in open procedures. Despite changes in vascular surgery training, trainees are still performing more open procedures than endovascular procedures per year. However, there are evolving deficits in specific types of procedures.



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Surgery, endovascular procedures, fellowship, residency, vascular surgery, vascular surgery training