Reporting Modifications in Surgical Innovation: A Systematic Scoping Review Protocol

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Introduction: Innovation in surgery drives improvements to patient care. New surgical procedures and devices typically undergo a series of modifications as they are developed and refined during their introduction into clinical practice. These changes should ideally be reported and shared between surgeon-innovators to promote efficient, safe and transparent innovation. Currently, agreement on how modifications should be defined, conceptualised and classified, so they can be reported and shared efficiently and transparently, is lacking. The aim of this review is to examine and summarise existing literature on definitions, perceptions and classifications of modifications to surgical procedures/devices, including views on how to measure and report them. The findings will inform future work to standardise reporting and sharing of modifications in surgical innovation.

Materials and Methods: A systematic scoping review will be conducted adhering to PRISMA-ScR guidelines. Included articles will focus on review articles and opinion pieces relevant to modifications to new surgical procedures or devices introduced to clinical practice. Methods to identify relevant literature will include systematic searches in MEDLINE (Ovid version), targeted internet searches (Google Scholar) and snowball searches. A two-stage screening process (titles/abstracts/keywords and full-texts) will use specified exclusion/inclusion criteria to identify eligible articles. Data on how modifications are i) defined, ii) perceived, and iii) classified, and iv) views on how modifications should be measured and reported, will be extracted verbatim. Inductive thematic analysis will be applied to extracted data where appropriate. Results will be presented as a narrative summary including descriptive characteristics of included articles. Findings will inform a preliminary conceptual framework to facilitate the systematic reporting and sharing of modifications to novel procedures and devices.


This work will generate an in-depth understanding of how modifications are currently defined, perceived and classified, and views on how they may be reported, in the context of surgical innovation.
Rigorous and comprehensive search methods will be applied to identify a wide range of diverse data sources for inclusion in the review.
A summary of existing relevant literature on modifications is a necessary step to inform development of a framework for transparent, real-time reporting and sharing of modifications in future studies of innovative invasive procedures/devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250–6
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Protocols
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021


  • innovation
  • surgery
  • modifications
  • review
  • operative
  • procedures


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