With an increasing use of intraoperative fluoroscopy in operating rooms worldwide, the topic of radiation exposure has become a major concern among hospital staff, doctors and patients alike. Since fluoroscopy has become an integral part in orthopedic intraoperative management, we sought to identify whether surgeon grade or experience plays a role in the amount of radiation used and consequently exposed. We performed a systematic review examining the association between surgeon experience and radiation exposure using primary outcome measures (radiation dose and total screening time/fluoroscopy time). To be included in the review, the study population had to compare varying surgeon experience levels and their effect on the primary outcomes. A total of eighteen studies were included in the review. The studies were a mix of prospective and retrospective studies with low to moderate quality as evaluated by the MINORs criteria. Studies were variable in defining surgeon experience levels and in the type of operations being performed. Majority of the studies showed that inexperienced surgeons/trainees had a higher total fluoroscopy time and a higher mean radiation exposure as compared to experienced surgeons. We conclude that higher surgeon experience significantly reduces usage of fluoroscopy and the consequent radiation exposure in orthopedic procedures. Introduction of strict radiation guidelines involving limited usage of fluoroscopy and supervision of trainees may be beneficial in controlling radiation exposure in the future.
- Radiation exposure
- Surgeon experience