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J Urol. 2010 Nov;184(5):2089-93. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.06.097. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Impact of a laparoscopic renal surgery mini-fellowship program on postgraduate urologist practice patterns at 3-year followup.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California-Irvine, Orange, California 92868, USA.



To assist practicing urologists incorporate laparoscopic renal surgery into their practice we established a 5-day mini-fellowship program with a mentor, preceptor and a potential proctor at our institution. We report the impact of our mini-fellowship program at 3-year followup.


A total of 106 urologists underwent laparoscopic ablative (44) or laparoscopic reconstructive (62) renal surgery training. The 1:2 teacher-to-attendee experience included tutorial sessions, hands-on inanimate and animate skills training, and clinical case observations. Participants were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire on laparoscopic practice patterns 1, 2 and 3 years after the mini-fellowship.


The questionnaire response rate at 1 to 3 years was 77%, 65% and 68%, respectively. Of responders 72%, 71% and 71% performed laparoscopic renal surgery at 1 to 3 years, respectively. Of the 106 participants 32 (39%) had previous laparoscopic experience, including 78% who responded to the questionnaire at 3 years. Of those surgeons there was an increase in the practice of laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (88% vs 72%), nephroureterectomy (56% vs 13%), pyeloplasty (40% vs 6%) and partial nephrectomy (32% vs 6%) at 3 years. Of the 106 participants 74 (70%) were laparoscopy naïve, including 48 (65%) who responded to the questionnaire at 3 years. The take rate in this group was 76%, 52%, 34% and 23% for laparoscopic radical nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, pyeloplasty and partial nephrectomy, respectively. Of the participants 90% indicated that they would recommend this training to a colleague.


An intensive 5-day laparoscopic ablative and reconstructive renal surgery course enabled postgraduate urologists to effectively introduce and expand the volume and breadth of their laparoscopic renal surgery practice.

Copyright © 2010 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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