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Asian J Surg. 2018 May;41(3):270-273. doi: 10.1016/j.asjsur.2016.12.003. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

Can laparoscopic appendectomy be safely performed by surgical residents without prior experience of open appendectomy?

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Department of Digestive Surgery, Colorectal Surgery Unit, Toranomon Hospital Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Digestive Surgery, Colorectal Surgery Unit, Toranomon Hospital Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



As laparoscopic surgery has become the mainstream technique for abdominal surgery, it has become difficult for surgical residents to have opportunities to perform open surgery. This study aimed to examine the appropriateness and feasibility of laparoscopic appendectomy performed by surgical trainees who had little experience with open appendectomy or laparoscopic training with animal models.


We retrospectively reviewed all the records of patients who underwent appendectomy for acute appendicitis from April 2008 to December 2014. Residents were assigned to two levels of seniority: junior residents who had undergone 1-3 years of residency and senior residents who had undergone 4-6 years of residency. Patient characteristics, histopathological results, operative time, blood loss, conversion to open procedure, complications, length of hospital stay, and mortality were compared between the two groups.


During the study period, 174 patients with the clinical diagnosis of acute appendicitis underwent laparoscopic appendectomy by junior residents and 90 patients were operated on by senior residents. There were no statistical differences in the characteristics of the patients, conversion rates (0/174 vs. 1/90), median operative times (75 minutes vs. 75 minutes), complication rates (7% vs. 4%), and median lengths of hospital stay (4 days vs. 4 days).


Laparoscopic appendectomy can be performed safely by surgical residents who had little experience or training with animal models or open appendectomy. In this era of laparoscopic surgery, laparoscopic appendectomy represents an important opportunity for training surgical residents with little experience of open surgery.


education; laparoscopic appendectomy; trainee

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