Should patients fear Friday surgeries?

Though previous studies suggested patients may be more likely to die if they had surgery on Friday as opposed to Monday, a new Canadian study published in CMAJ could assuage some of those fears.

For instance, one 2013 study in the BMJ suggested the risk of death after elective procedures on Fridays was 44 percent higher than if the surgery had been performed on a Monday.

But the more recent Canadian study did not find the same problem. Researchers examined roughly 403,000 elective surgeries performed by 1,619 surgeons at Ontario hospitals from 2002 to 2012.

While they did find surgeon experience varied substantially day to day, with those working Fridays having less experience than those working Tuesdays or Wednesdays, they did not find an increased risk of death for patients going under the knife on Fridays.

"Our data suggest that despite differences in surgeon experience, the risk of 30-day mortality after elective surgery was similar, regardless of which day of the week the procedure took place," said Luc Dubois, MD, the study's lead author.

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