Comparison Of Pterygium Recurrence Rates Between Attending Physicians And Supervised Trainee Residents

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Purpose:To compare the recurrence rates after pterygium surgery performed by supervised trainee residents and attending physicians.Methods:This retrospective study included pterygium surgeries performed by trainee residents and attending physicians in an academic institution in South Texas in the years 2008 to 2019. All residents performed surgeries under direct supervision of an attending physician. Only primary pterygium cases with a minimum postoperative follow-up of 6 months were included. Patients' demographics, primary surgeon, use of conjunctival autograft (CAU) or amniotic membrane graft (AMG), recurrence of pterygium, follow-up length, and complications were recorded.Results:This study included 240 eyes of 229 patients with a mean age of 55.6 ± 12.3 years (range, 28-91 years). Of these eyes, 100 surgeries were performed by attending physicians (including 87 with CAU and 13 with AMG) and 140 surgeries by trainee residents (including 119 with CAU and 21 with AMG). There were no significant differences between the 2 groups of patients regarding age, sex, and surgical technique (CAU vs. AMG). Patients were followed up for an average of 19.8 ± 15.2 months. No statistically significant differences were found in comparing the rate of pterygium recurrence between attending physicians and residents when using CAU (6.8% vs. 10.0%, respectively; P = 0.42) and AMG (69.2% vs. 47.6%, respectively; P = 0.22). Moreover, there were no significant differences in other postoperative complications between the groups.Conclusions:Pterygium recurrence rates were similar between attending physicians and supervised trainee residents. Thus, acceptable outcomes can be expected when pterygium surgery is performed by a supervised ophthalmology resident.

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