Thorac cardiovasc Surg 2017; 65(07): 524-527
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1603203
Short Communication
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Cardiac Surgeons after Vacation: Refreshed or Rusty?

Blayne Welk1, Jennifer Winick-Ng2, Andrew McClure2, Luc Dubois1, Dave Nagpal1
  • 1Department of Surgery, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Further Information

Publication History

17 February 2017

06 April 2017

Publication Date:
16 May 2017 (eFirst)


Introduction Many surgeons describe feeling a bit out of practice when they return from a vacation. There have been no studies assessing the impact of surgeon vacation on patient outcomes.

Methods We used administrative data from the province of Ontario to identify patients who underwent a coronary artery bypass grafting. Using a propensity score, we matched patients who underwent their procedure immediately after their surgeon returned from vacation of at least 7 days (n = 1,161) to patients who were not operated immediately before or after a vacation period (n = 2,138).

Results There was no significant difference in patient mortality (odds ratio: 1.23, p = 0.52), length of operation (relative risk [RR]: 1.00 p = 0.58), or intensive care unit/hospital stay (RR: 0.97 p = 0.66/RR: 0.98 p = 0.54, respectively).

Conclusion There was not a significant change in risk of death, operative length, or hospital stay after a surgeon vacation.


The opinions, results, and conclusions reported in this article are those of the authors and are independent from the funding sources. No endorsement by ICES, AMOSO, SSMD, LHRI, or the Ontario MOHLTC is intended or should be inferred. Parts of this material are based on data and information compiled and provided by CIHI. However, the analyses, conclusions, opinions, and statements expressed herein are those of the author, and not necessarily those of CIHI.