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Ann Surg. 2006 Jun;243(6):854-60; discussion 860-3.

Laparoscopic skills are improved with LapMentor training: results of a randomized, double-blinded study.

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Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



To determine if prior training on the LapMentor laparoscopic simulator leads to improved performance of basic laparoscopic skills in the animate operating room environment.


Numerous influences have led to the development of computer-aided laparoscopic simulators: a need for greater efficiency in training, the unique and complex nature of laparoscopic surgery, and the increasing demand that surgeons demonstrate competence before proceeding to the operating room. The LapMentor simulator is expensive, however, and its use must be validated and justified prior to implementation into surgical training programs.


Nineteen surgical interns were randomized to training on the LapMentor laparoscopic simulator (n = 10) or to a control group (no simulator training, n = 9). Subjects randomized to the LapMentor trained to expert criterion levels 2 consecutive times on 6 designated basic skills modules. All subjects then completed a series of laparoscopic exercises in a live porcine model, and performance was assessed independently by 2 blinded reviewers. Time, accuracy rates, and global assessments of performance were recorded with an interrater reliability between reviewers of 0.99.


LapMentor trained interns completed the 30 degrees camera navigation exercise in significantly less time than control interns (166 +/- 52 vs. 220 +/- 39 seconds, P < 0.05); they also achieved higher accuracy rates in identifying the required objects with the laparoscope (96% +/- 8% vs. 82% +/- 15%, P < 0.05). Similarly, on the two-handed object transfer exercise, task completion time for LapMentor trained versus control interns was 130 +/- 23 versus 184 +/- 43 seconds (P < 0.01) with an accuracy rate of 98% +/- 5% versus 80% +/- 13% (P < 0.001). Additionally, LapMentor trained interns outperformed control subjects with regard to camera navigation skills, efficiency of motion, optimal instrument handling, perceptual ability, and performance of safe electrocautery.


This study demonstrates that prior training on the LapMentor laparoscopic simulator leads to improved resident performance of basic skills in the animate operating room environment. This work marks the first prospective, randomized evaluation of the LapMentor simulator, and provides evidence that LapMentor training may lead to improved operating room performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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