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Pediatric Surgeons’ Adoption of an Innovative Laparoscopic Technique for Inguinal Hernia Repair: A Mixed Methods Study

Purpose: We studied adoption of an innovative laparoscopic technique for pediatric inguinal hernia repair by pediatric surgeons and pediatric urologists following dissemination of evidence for its benefits. Methods: This mixed methods study included children who received inguinal hernia repairs during 2017-2019 and their surgeons. We examined surgeons’ adoption and use of the innovative technique and rates of ipsilateral recurrence and metachronous contralateral repair. In-depth interviews with surgeons were used to identify themes regarding attitudes and practices regarding the adoption of surgical innovations. Results: No ipsilateral recurrences were noted among open repairs after 1.5 years of average follow-up, while 1.54% (7/453) of unilateral and 0.50% (3/606 sides) of bilateral innovative surgeries required ipsilateral repair after 1.3 years of average follow-up. Among unilateral cases, metachronous contralateral repairs were performed in 1.63% (8/490) of open and 0.44% (2/453) of innovative surgeries. Surgeon interviews identified approaches to continued learning and change; the role of departmental culture, norms, and resources; and technical issues specific to pediatric surgery and pediatric inguinal hernia repair. Conclusions: Outcomes may have improved over time as a consequence of learning. Differences among surgeons and departments influenced the speed of adoption. Surgeons linked the collegial model used when adopting the new technique to the apprenticeship model used during their training. We propose research into the collegial model to improve translation of evidence-based surgical innovations into practice. Level of Evidence: Level III.

Authors: Altschuler, Andrea; Chong, Albert J; Alavi, Mubarika; Herrinton, Lisa J

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2021 Aug;31(8):947-953. Epub 2021-05-27.

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