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Am J Surg. 2013 Jul;206(1):23-31. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.10.037. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Basic laparoscopic skills training using fresh frozen cadaver: a randomized controlled trial.

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Newcastle Surgical Training Centre, Department of General Surgery, Freeman Hospital NHS Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK.



The purpose of this study was to determine whether training on fresh cadavers improves the laparoscopic skills performance of novices.


Junior surgical trainees, novices (<3 laparoscopic procedure performed) in laparoscopic surgery, were randomized into control (group A) and practice groups (group B). Group B performed 10 repetitions of a set of structured laparoscopic tasks on fresh frozen cadavers (FFCs) improvised from fundamentals of laparoscopic skills technical curriculum. Performance on cadavers was scored using a validated, objective Global Operative Assessment of Laparoscopic Skills scale. The baseline technical ability of the 2 groups and any transfer of skills from FFCs was measured using a full procedural laparoscopic cholecystectomy task on a virtual reality simulator before and after practice on FFCs, respectively. Nonparametric tests were used for analysis of the results.


Twenty candidates were randomized; 1 withdrew before the study commenced, and 19 were analyzed (group A, n = 9; group B; n = 10). Four of 5 tasks (nondominant to dominant hand transfer, simulated appendectomy, intracorporeal, and extracorporeal knot tying) on FFCs showed significant improvement on learning curve analysis. After training, significant improvement was shown for safety of cautery (P = .040) and the left arm path length (P = .047) on the virtual reality simulator by the practice group.


Training on FFCs significantly improves basic laparoscopic skills and can improve full procedural performance.

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