Surgical research using national databases
Recent changes in healthcare and advances in technology have increased the use of large-volume national databases in surgical research. These databases have been used to develop perioperative risk stratification tools, assess postoperative complications, calculate costs, and investigate numerous other topics across multiple surgical specialties. The results of these studies contain variable information but are subject to unique limitations. The use of large-volume national databases is increasing in popularity, and thorough understanding of these databases will allow for a more sophisticated and better educated interpretation of studies that utilize such databases. This review will highlight the composition, strengths, and weaknesses of commonly used national databases in surgical research.