Trainees participation in breast cancer surgery: an assistance or a hinderance?
The participation of trainees in breast cancer surgery is often a concern to patients. The effect of trainees’ involvement during surgery on patient’s safety and satisfaction in term of complications, oncologic and cosmetic outcomes is not fully known. Currently, there is limited and conflicting data on the outcomes of trainees’ involvement in breast cancer surgery. Most of the studies were of retrospective nature with small numbers. Also, the true extent of involvement and supervision of the trainees in the surgery were often not clearly defined in the studies (1-5). There were also major flaws in the design of some studies. In the analysis of outcomes in these studies, there were no differentiation on whether the residents participated in cases of palpable tumour or not (4) or if the patients had invasive ductal carcinoma or pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) alone (1,3), which severely affected the validity of the results.