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J Urol. 1999 Mar;161(3):881-6.

Laparoscopic practice patterns among North American urologists 5 years after formal training.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.



We assessed urologist laparoscopy practice patterns 5 years after a postgraduate training course in urological laparoscopic surgery. Results were compared to findings from similar studies performed on the same cohort at 3 and 12 months after training.


Between January 1991 and November 1992, 11, 2-day university sponsored, postgraduate laparoscopic surgery training programs were held. A survey was mailed to the 322 North American participants in the summer of 1997 to determine current laparoscopic use and experience.


Of the 166 respondents (51% response rate) 53.6% (89) had performed 1 or more laparoscopic procedures in the previous year, compared to 84% 1 year following course completion. Of the respondents 37% believed their laparoscopic experience was sufficient to maintain skills compared to 66% at 1 year. Of the respondents 6% had performed more laparoscopic procedures while 82% had performed fewer than anticipated. Reasons cited for decreased use included decreasing and/or lack of indications, increased cost, decreased patient interest, higher complication rates, decreased institutional support and increased operative time. Respondents practicing in academic or residency affiliated centers, or those who had completed residency after 1980 were more likely to have performed more procedures than anticipated (p = 0.044) compared to community based colleagues.


Laparoscopic use by urologists trained in the postgraduate setting is decreasing. Few respondents are maintaining the skills acquired during the original training course. Decreased use appears to be multifactorial.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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