Interpretation of the Data
Variations in the data between individual surgeons and units may be a reflection of case complexity or patient factors. BAUS strongly recommends, therefore, that individual patients should discuss the likely outcomes of surgery with their urologist, before an operation, so they can understand the expected outcome, taking account of the complexity of the technical problem in the context of their general health and their particular case.
BAUS has included all the data returned in our overall analysis but, in some of the audits, when presenting the individual surgeon’s results, we have excluded surgeons who returned less than five cases for the year because statistical analysis of such a low number would be invalid. However, we have written to all of these surgeons or, if we were unable to identify the surgeons, to the unit and asked them to give us further information on their caseload. The fact that an individual appears to have undertaken less than five cases in the year may be due to several factors:
- the individual was the second surgeon in a number of cases and the data is actually recorded under another surgeon in the unit,
- the surgeon only does a few (less than 5) high-risk, complex cases each year,
- the surgeon took time off in the year for medical / professional reasons,
- the surgeon has only recently been appointed to the Trust and
- the surgeon only undertook the procedure in conjunction with another surgeon as an emergency.
BAUS has taken the decision to keep the data as simple as possible by publishing the number of procedures according to each category, together with simple outcome measures. Further information on the individual audits is given on the relevant audit pages.