The accuracy of surgeons' provided estimates for the duration of hysterectomies: A pilot study

Dario R. Roque*, Katina Robison, Christina A. Raker, Gary G. Wharton, Gary N. Frishman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To determine the accuracy of gynecologic surgeons' estimate of operative times for hysterectomies and to compare these with the existing computer-generated estimate at our institution. Design: Pilot prospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2). Setting: Academic tertiary women's hospital in the Northeast United States. Participants: Thirty gynecologic surgeons including 23 general gynecologists, 4 gynecologic oncologists, and 3 urogynecologists. Intervention: Via a 6-question survey, surgeons were asked to predict the operative time for a hysterectomy they were about to perform. The surgeons' predictions were then compared with the time predicted by the scheduling system at our institution and with the actual operative time, to determine accuracy and differences between actual and predicted times. Patient and surgery data were collected to perform a secondary analysis to determine factors that may have significantly affected the prediction. Measurements and Main Results: Of 75 hysterectomies analyzed, 36 were performed abdominally, 18 vaginally, and 21 laparoscopically. Accuracy was established if the actual procedure time was within the 15-minute increment predicted by either the surgeons or the scheduling system. The surgeons accurately predicted the duration of 20 hysterectomies (26.7%), whereas the accuracy of the scheduling system was only 9.3%. The scheduling system accuracy was significantly less precise than the surgeons, primarily due to overestimation (p=01); operative time was overestimated on average 34minutes. The scheduling system overestimated the time required to a greater extent than the surgeons for nearly all data examined, including patient body mass index, surgical approach, indication for surgery, surgeon experience, uterine size, and previous abdominal surgery. Conclusion: Although surgeons' accuracy in predicting operative time was poor, it was significantly better than that of the computerized scheduling system, which was more likely to overestimate operative time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Hysterectomy
  • Operating room utilization
  • Operative time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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