Whether or not your doctor suggests surgery, there is a great deal to consider and many questions to answer. Is it truly necessary for me to get this surgery? Is it necessary to seek a second opinion? Will my medical insurance cover the cost of my surgery? How long do you think it will take me to recover?
There is one issue you might not have considered: does the gender of your surgeon have an impact on the likelihood that your procedure will be successful? According to a study published in the journal JAMA Surgery, it might just be possible.
Firstly Read most frequently question: What is Surgeon
How a surgeon’s sexual orientation may influence surgical outcomes?
A total of more than 1.3 million people participated in the study, as did over 3,000 surgeons who performed one of 21 frequent elective or emergency procedures in Canada between 2007 and 2019. Appendectomies, knee and hip replacements, aortic aneurysm repairs, and spinal operations were among the procedures carried out during the mission.
Four groups of people were compared in terms of how often they had surgery-related complications, were readmitted to the hospital, or died within 30 days of surgery:
Male patients who were operated on by a male surgeon are referred to as “male patients” (39 percent of operations). Fifty percent of operations were performed on female patients by male surgeons. Female patients treated by a female surgeon (7% of operations) Male patients being treated by a female surgeon (4 percent of operations)
They discovered the following:
Unfavorable outcomes were experienced by approximately 15% of all patients.
When the surgeon and patient were of different sexes, patients who were male had a 9% higher risk of complications such as significant bleeding, heart attack, or kidney failure, and a 7% higher risk of mortality, compared to patients whose sex was the same as their surgeon.
Female patients were more likely than male patients to have an increased risk as a result of having a surgeon of a different gender. When compared to women who had a female surgeon, women who had a male surgeon had an 11 percent higher chance of readmission to the hospital, a 16 percent higher rate of complications, and a 32 percent higher risk of death.
Male patients had smaller differences in results than female patients, although their outcomes were still in favour of female surgeons.
When male patients had a female surgeon instead of a male surgeon, their mortality rate dropped by 13% and their readmission rate dropped by 6%.
The study was not intended to determine the reasons for the observed results, and this was not the case. They did recommend that future research should compare specific differences in care, patient-surgeon relationships, measures of trust, and communication styles between the four patient groups, as suggested by the study’s authors. It’s also possible that female surgeons adhere more closely to standard operating procedures than their male counterparts. Physicians are very different when it comes to following guidelines, but it isn’t clear if this is because of gender differences in how they act.
How important is the sex of a doctor-patient relationship?
This is not the first study to demonstrate that the sexual orientation of physicians has an impact on the quality of medical care. In addition, there has been a previous study of common surgeries, as well as research into senior people admitted to the hospital and patients who have suffered heart attacks. Each study discovered that patients of female physicians had a better prognosis than patients of male physicians. A review of data on people with cardiovascular disease found results that were similar to those in the previous study.
There is An Additional Twist in This Recent Study:
The majority of the difference in outcomes was observed among female patients who were treated by male physicians. Consequently, there is justification for taking a close look at why this would be the case. What is it that female surgeons do differently—especially with their female patients—that results in superior outcomes when compared to male surgeons that allows them to achieve these results?
I Think It’s a Delicate Topic
Bringing up the potential that a surgeon’s gender matters can make some doctors defensive, especially those whose patients had poorer outcomes. Let’s face it! Most doctors are likely to believe that they deliver high-quality care to all of their patients, regardless of the gender of the patient. If it is suggested that the research should not be done this way, it will be looked at and criticized more closely.
Any study can raise questions, and it’s reasonable to have scepticism about it. Is it possible that male doctors were assigned more difficult cases? Non-surgeon members of surgical teams who provide pre- and postoperative care, such as nurses, trainees, and physician assistants, may have played a role. Even though these and other factors were taken into account, the study was an observational one, which makes it hard to completely remove all possible confounding variables.
If your surgery is an emergency, you won’t have much time to prepare. Even if you choose to have surgery, the majority of surgeons in many countries — including Canada, the location of this research — are men. Even in medical schools where the number of male and female students is roughly equal, this is still the case. Any potential advantage disappears if there is little chance of receiving care from a female surgeon.
Most importantly, a surgeon’s expertise and experience with a particular procedure are critical. In light of this new research, picking a surgeon based solely on sex is a waste of time.
However, if female surgeons truly perform better on their patients than their male counterparts, it is critical to know why. For the sake of all patients, regardless of gender or the gender of their doctors, figuring out what female surgeons do well (or what male surgeons don’t do well) is an important goal.
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