Why Do Female Surgeons Have Better Surgical Outcomes? New Studies

See other stories...

By on (last updated on )

A recent cohort study published in JAMA Surgery investigated the association between surgeon sex and patients’ long-term postoperative outcomes. The study examined data from 1 million patients, focusing on 25 common surgeries.

The study looked at surgical outcomes at 90 days and one year post-surgery. Researchers found that patients treated by female surgeons were less likely to experience death, hospital readmission, or major medical complications after surgery. Even after accounting for differences between patients, surgeons, hospitals, and procedures, patients of female surgeons had better outcomes.

In fact, after one year, 25% of male-treated patients had experienced adverse postoperative events, versus 20% of female-treated patients. While the outcome differences are modest, they were consistent.

The research also found that female patients have slightly worse outcomes when treated by male surgeons.

Female Surgeons

Why do female surgeons have better results?

While there is no definite answer, past research does give us some insight into why this might be the case.

Another study also published in August found that female surgeons spend more time in the operating room, opt for open surgery less often, and their patients have shorter hospital stays. While this study focused on gallbladder removal, past studies have also found that female doctors spend more time with their patients than male surgeons.

At the Outpatient Hysterectomy Center, we use minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery whenever possible. Our patients experience less pain and scarring and have shorter recovery times than with open surgery.

Do we need more female surgeons?

Diversity in the medical field is important. In 2021, only 22.6% of general surgeons in the U.S. were women. So while we do need more women in the medical field, we also need changes in how surgeons are trained and treated.

For most of medical history, the assumption has been that surgeons will be men. But we’re constantly getting new evidence that female surgeons are just as capable as their male counterparts.

Unfortunately, the field is still struggling against the male surgeon stereotype. A review of Medicare data published in 2017 found that doctors who referred a patient to a female surgeon and had a bad outcome were less likely to refer to any female surgeon again. This same effect was not seen with physicians who referred to male surgeons.

Why choose Dr. Aliabadi and the Outpatient Hysterectomy Center?

Drs. Aliabadi and Yera are renowned masters of gynecology, obstetrics, and gynecological surgery. Patients travel from around the country to be treated at the Outpatient Hysterectomy Center and Dr. Aliabadi even travels to teach her surgical expertise to other doctors.

OHC is committed to providing the best women’s health care; our staff chooses the least invasive treatment option whenever possible.

We invite you to establish care with the Outpatient Hysterectomy Center. Please make your appointment online or call us at (844) 863-6700.

The Outpatient Hysterectomy Center is conveniently located for patients throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area. At the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, we are near Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Culver City, Hollywood, Venice, Marina del Rey, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, and Downtown Los Angeles.