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Urology. 2008 Aug;72(2):265-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2008.03.038. Epub 2008 May 27.

Skills-based laparoscopy training demonstrates long-term transfer of clinical laparoscopic practice: additional follow-up.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



The American Urological Association Hands on Laparoscopy course was designed to help practitioners without laparoscopic training advance their skills. We evaluated the long-term effect of this course on urologists' practice.


A total of 52 urologists, 37-61 years old (mean 50.7), participated in one of three courses given from August 2002 to October 2003. The 2-day course included performing standardized tasks with videotape analysis and participating in porcine and pelvic trainer laboratory sessions with intense mentoring from known experts. Surveys were sent by regular and electronic mail in February 2007 to assess the effect of the course. The mean follow-up was 48 months (range 41-55).


Of the 52 surveys mailed, 32 were returned (61%). Most respondents were in private practice and had previous experience with extirpative urologic laparoscopy. Of the 32 respondents, 31 (97%) reported that their laparoscopic practice had expanded after taking the course. Also, 24 (75%) reported having sutured laparoscopically after taking the course, with 61% having sutured a bleeding vessel, and 80% reported that the video mentoring during the course was helpful. Of those who purchased a pelvic trainer, 90% reported practicing on it regularly.


The results of our study have shown that the Hands on Laparoscopy course has a significant long-term (mean 48 months) effect on the laparoscopic practice of course alumni. The experience gained from skills-based lectures, videotape analysis of pelvic trainer performance, and a mentored porcine laboratory session resulted in most participants expanding their practice (97%) and suturing laparoscopically (75%).

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