New studies from Canada and Sweden suggest that patients undergoing surgery performed by female surgeons have better post-operative outcomes.
This included a lower risk of adverse events and death within 12 months after the operation.
In Canada, a study involving over one million adult patients examined the surgical outcomes of individuals who had undergone 25 common elective or emergency surgeries.
The findings indicated patients operated on by female surgeons had a lower rate of adverse postoperative outcomes.
This included death, readmission, or complications, compared to those treated by male surgeons
Three months after surgery, 12.5 per cent of patients treated by female surgeons experienced adverse reactions and 13.9 per cent of those treated by male surgeons did.
One year post-surgery, these figures adjusted to 20.7 per cent for female surgeons’ patients versus 25 per cent for male surgeons’ patients.
Additionally, the study showed that one year after surgery, fewer patients under female surgeons’ care died.
2.4 per cent of those treated by male surgeons passed away.
Dr. Christopher Wallis, a urologic oncologist, noted that these findings should prompt male surgeons and their colleagues.
In Sweden, another study focused on 150,000 patients who underwent gallbladder removal surgery (cholecystectomy).
The study found that patients under the care of female surgeons experienced fewer surgical complications.
Although female surgeons took longer during operations, their patients had shorter hospital stays.
Dr. My Blohm, co-author of the Swedish study, suggested that differences in surgical technique and risk-taking behaviours might explain some of the gender-related disparities.
She emphasized that the findings challenge the belief in some countries that male surgeons are superior to their female counterparts.
Dr. Wallis further suggested adopting some practices commonly used by female surgeons.
This introspection, he believes, is crucial in enhancing the quality of healthcare provided by all physicians.
The studies shed light on the important role of gender in surgical outcomes and may pave the way for changes in medical practices and attitudes toward female surgeons in the field.