A survey of South African endoscopic surgical practice
To coincide with the first annual meeting of the South African Society of Endoscopic Surgeons (SASES), a postal survey of the endoscopic surgical practices of 98 registered specialist surgeons was undertaken. A response rate of 73.5% was achieved, and 94.5% of respondents had personally performed endoscopic surgical procedures. Cholecystectomy (4 557) was the most commonly performed endoscopic surgical procedure and was associated with a postoperative mortality rate of 0.13% and morbidity of 3.5%. Twelve bile duct injuries were reported (0,26%). In descending order of frequency, other procedures reported were diagnostic laparoscopy (1 404), dorsal sympathectomy (412), appendicectomy (396), inguinal hernia repair (146), anti-reflux procedures (83) and diagnostic thoracoscopy (51). No postoperative deaths were recorded and complication rates varied from zero for diagnostic thoracoscopy to 4.8% for inguinal hernia repair and anti-reflux procedures. The selected sample of South African surgeons canvassed appears to have adopted endoscopic surgical techniques with enthusiasm and with complication rates that compare favourably with those reported elsewhere.