Introduction: Common bile duct injury (CBDI) is a severe complication of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). To minimize its occurrence, SAGES established the Safe Cholecystectomy Program (SCP) with 6 rules to follow during surgery.
Aim: To assess the knowledge of SCP among European surgeons and their opinion on its usefulness.
Material and methods: Data were gathered using questionnaires during surgical conferences in Poland and Denmark. The questionnaire asked about the surgeon's experience in cholecystectomy and the number of complications in the form of CBDI. It asked about the surgeon's opinion on the usefulness of SCP rules on a 10-point scale. A comparison between specialists and residents was performed. The study has been registered in the ClinicalTrials.gov - NCT03155321.
Results: One hundred eighty-four questionnaires were gathered. One hundred fourteen (61.96%) specialists (72.8% male, mean age: 50 years) and 70 (38.04%) residents (56% male, mean age: 34 years) completed the questionnaire. Mean work experience was 22 years among specialists and 4.5 years among residents. A high percentage of specialists have experienced CBDI (46% vs. 17% of residents, p = 0.014). More specialists are familiar with the SCP than residents (49.3% vs. 21.7%, p = 0.021). Significant differences in the mean usefulness score were observed for three rules: rules 2 and 6 were found more useful by residents (mean score: 7.07 vs. 6.01, p = 0.025 and 8.70 vs. 8.27, p < 0.001), and rule 3 was found more useful by specialists (mean: 8.73 vs. 8.36, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The awareness of the SCP in Europe is low. Participants consider the rules of the SCP to be useful during surgery, although there are differences in the usefulness scores between the groups. An educational program to promote and further implement the SCP should be established.