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J Vis Surg. 2017 Oct 18;3:143. doi: 10.21037/jovs.2017.08.04. eCollection 2017.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy learning curve: what program should be offered in a residency course?

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Thoracic Surgery Unit, University of L'Aquila, "G. Mazzini" Hospital, Teramo, Italy.
Thoracic Surgery Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


Video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) procedures are emerging for treatment of both benign and malignant thoracic diseases and substituting classical approaches, such as thoracotomies, thanks to several advantages concerning postoperative morbidity rates and overall patients' outcome (i.e., postoperative pain, chronic pain and quality of life). However, a VAT approach needs an established learning curve making procedures as safe as in open surgery. With regard of trainee surgeons, notwithstanding an increasing number of learning tools and strategies, such as simulation programs (i.e., black-boxes, wet labs, cadaver or animal labs, 3D virtual reality simulators) and direct observation both of live surgery and videos with a supportive evidence base from benchtop studies, there remains inconsistent adoption in surgical educations.


Non-small cell lung cancer; learning curve; simulation training; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy

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Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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