- The frequency of five common, in-hospital surgical procedures appeared to vary between Dutch provinces in 1985. The degree of variation was largest for (adeno)tonsillectomies (the highest and lowest values differed by a factor of 2.6), and smallest for abdominal hernia operations (difference a factor of 1.1). Appendectomies, cholecystectomies and hysterectomies showed a moderate degree of variation (differences a factor of 1.4-1.6).
The possible causes of these differences are not known with certainty, but results from studies in other countries suggest that differences in practice styles may be involved. Information to surgeons and other specialists on interregional variation in surgical procedures could play an important role in the identification of areas where consensus development, or consensus promoting research, is necessary.