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J Urol. 2001 Nov;166(5):1658-61.

The impact of intense laparoscopic skills training on the operative performance of urology residents.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA.



As laparoscopy has become more commonplace in urology, increased emphasis has been placed on laparoscopic education. We assessed the impact of laparoscopic skills training on the operative performance of urological surgeons inexperienced with laparoscopy.


Urology residents were prospectively randomized to undergo laparoscopic skills training (6) or no training (6). Baseline assessment of operative performance (scale 0 to 35) during porcine laparoscopic nephrectomy was completed by all subjects. Cumulative time to complete laparoscopic tasks using an inanimate trainer was also recorded. The skills training group then practiced inanimate trainer tasks for 30 minutes daily for 10 days. The 2 groups then repeated the timed inanimate trainer tasks and underwent repeat assessment of the ability to perform porcine laparoscopic nephrectomy.


At baseline no statistical difference was noted in laparoscopic experience, inanimate trainer time or overall operative assessment in the 2 groups. In the skills training group mean cumulative time to complete inanimate trainer tasks decreased from 341 to 176 seconds (p = 0.003), while in the control group it decreased from 365 to 301 (p = 0.15). Operative assessment improved from initial to repeat porcine laparoscopic nephrectomy regardless of the trained versus control randomization grouping (22.0 to 27.8, p = 0.0008 and 20.8 to 26.5, p = 0.00007, respectively).


In vivo experience enables urological surgeons inexperienced with laparoscopy to improve significantly in all aspects of complex laparoscopic procedures. In this pilot study the magnitude of improvement was independent of additional training in laparoscopic skills. Educational curriculum should include in vivo practice in addition to skills training.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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