Surgeon Volume and Laryngectomy Outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the relationship between surgeon volume and operative morbidity and mortality for laryngectomy. Data Sources: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify 45,156 patients who underwent laryngectomy procedures for laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer between 2001 and 2011. Hospital and surgeon laryngectomy volume were modeled as categorical variables. Methods: Relationships between hospital and surgeon volume and mortality, surgical complications, and acute medical complications were examined using multivariable regression. Results: Higher-volume surgeons were more likely to operate at large, teaching, nonprofit hospitals and were more likely to treat patients who were white, had private insurance, hypopharyngeal cancer, low comorbidity, admitted electively, and to perform partial laryngectomy, concurrent neck dissection, and flap reconstruction. Surgeons treating more than 5 cases per year were associated with lower odds of medical and surgical complications, with a greater reduction in the odds of complications with increasing surgical volume. Surgeons in the top volume quintile (>9 cases/year) were associated with a decreased odds of in-hospital mortality (OR = 0.09 [0.01–0.74]), postoperative surgical complications (OR = 0.58 [0.45–0.74]), and acute medical complications (OR = 0.49 [0.37–0.64]). Surgeon volume accounted for 95% of the effect of hospital volume on mortality and 16%–47% of the effect of hospital volume on postoperative morbidity. Conclusion: There is a strong volume-outcome relationship for laryngectomy, with reduced mortality and morbidity associated with higher surgeon and higher hospital volumes. Observed associations between hospital volume and operative morbidity and mortality are mediated by surgeon volume, suggesting that surgeon volume is an important component of the favorable outcomes of high-volume hospital care. Laryngoscope, 133:834–840, 2023.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-840
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Nationwide Inpatient Sample
  • laryngeal neoplasms
  • laryngectomy
  • larynx cancer
  • squamous cell cancer
  • surgeon
  • surgery
  • volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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