Genitourinary Surgical Workload at Deployed U.S. Facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2002-2016

Caryn A. Turner, Jean A. Orman, Zsolt T. Stockinger, Steven J. Hudak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Genitourinary surgery constitutes approximately 1.15% of procedures performed for combat injuries. During forward deployment, surgeons usually deploy without urology support. To better understand the training and skills maintenance needs for genitourinary procedures by describing in detail the genitourinary surgical workload during 15 years of combat operations and compare our findings with those from previously published articles. Material and Methods: A retrospective analysis of the Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DoDTR) was performed for all Roles 2 and 3 medical treatment facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, from January 2002 to May 2016. The 177 ICD-9-CM procedure codes identified as genitourinary procedures were grouped into 15 anatomic categories by subject matter experts. Select groups were further subdivided by procedure types. Descriptive analyses were performed and stratified workload percentiles were calculated for the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles. Data analysis was performed using Stata Version 14 (College Station, TX, USA). This quality improvement project was deemed exempt from institutional review board review by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. Results: A total of 3,963 genitourinary surgical procedures were identified, the majority occurring at Role 3 medical treatment facilities (3,512, 88.6%). The most common procedure groups were testis (20.6%), bladder (18.8%), scrotum (17.7%), and kidney (13.5%). The single most common individual procedures performed were unilateral orchiectomy (394, 9.9%), suture of laceration of scrotum and tunica vaginalis (373, 9.4%), nephroureterectomy (360, 9.1%), and other suprapubic cystostomy (268, 6.8%). Of the 77 gynecological procedures, 15 were C-sections. Genitourinary caseload per facility was low, never exceeding nine procedures per month. Conclusions: All deploying surgeons may be required to evaluate, stage, and surgically manage genitourinary, gynecologic, and obstetrical conditions. Surgery on the male genitalia, bladder, and kidney were the most commonly required genitourinary operative procedures in deployed facilities; therefore, non-urological surgeons should receive pre-deployment training in these techniques. The workload data from our study can be used to help guide the development of pre-deployment training to ensure military surgeons have the skills to perform the specialty procedures required while deployed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E179-E185
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Deployed Surgery
  • Procedure Volume
  • Surgical Training
  • Trauma
  • Urogenital System
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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