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Surg Endosc. 2007 Dec;21(12):2237-9. Epub 2007 Apr 10.

The mini-fellowship concept: a six-week focused training program for minimally invasive bariatric surgery.

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Surgical Weight Control Center, Las Vegas, NV, USA.



To devise a six-week hands-on training program customized to meet the needs of practicing general surgeons. The aim of this program is to provide the required training experience that will bestow the knowledge and skill necessary to implement a successful practice in laparoscopic bariatric surgery.


Ten board-certified/board-eligible practicing general surgeons with no prior hands-on or formal training in laparoscopic bariatric surgery. We report on the participants training experience and the impact that the program had on their subsequent laparoscopic bariatric clinical activity.


Ten surgeons completed training programs from 9/01 to 3/03. None of the trainees had prior experience in laparoscopic bariatric surgery. Program operative experience averaged 42 cases (range 29-66). Trainees were integrated into all preoperative and postoperative hospital and outpatient care on the service, including workshops and seminars. Seven graduates are in practice performing laparoscopic bariatric surgery and three are implementing new bariatric programs. The active surgeons report performing an average of 101 laparoscopic bariatric procedures (range 18-264) over a mean practice period of 10 months (range 4-16)


A six-week focused mini-fellowship with hands-on operative and clinical participation enables practicing surgeons to acquire the skill and experience necessary to successfully implement a laparoscopic bariatric surgical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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