Although minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has been quickly embraced, the introduction of advanced procedures appears more complex. We assessed the evolution of MIS in the province of Quebec over a 5-year period to identify areas for improvement in the modern surgical era.
We developed, test-piloted and conducted a self-administered questionnaire among Quebec general surgeons in 2007 and 2012 to examine stated MIS practice, MIS training and barriers and facilitators to the use of MIS.
Response rates were 51.3% (251 of 489) in 2007 and 31.3% (153 of 491) in 2012. A significant increase was observed for performance of most advanced MIS procedures, especially for colectomy for benign (66.0% v. 84.3%, p < 0,001) and malignant diseases (43.3% v. 77.8%, p < 0,001) and for rectal surgery for malignancy (21.0% v. 54.6%, p < 0.001). More surgeons practised 3 or more advanced MIS procedures in 2012 than in 2007 (82.3% v. 64.3%, p < 0,001). At multivariate analysis, the 2007 survey administration was associated with fewer surgeons practising advanced MIS (odds ratio 0.13, 95% confidence interval 0.06–0.29). In 2012, more respondents stated they gained their skills during residency (p = 0.028).
From 2007 to 2012 there was a significant increase in advanced MIS procedures practised by general surgeons in Québec. This technique appears well established in current surgical practice. The growing place of MIS in residency training seems to be a paramount part of this development. Results from this study could be used as a baseline for studies focusing on ways to further improve the MIS practice.