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Learning curve on the TrEndo laparoscopic simulator compared to an expert level

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to determine growth in trainee laparoscopic skill as recorded by the TrEndo laparoscopic simulator during a laparoscopic training course, compared to an expert level.

Methods

A prospective observational cohort study was conducted between February 1 and November 31, 2010. Trainees in laparoscopic surgery completed a basic laparoscopic suturing task on a laparoscopic box trainer at three successive assessment points during a laparoscopic training course. Experts were assessed only once to define an expert level. The TrEndo recorded four motion analysis parameters (MAPs) individually for each hand and the amount of time taken to complete the suturing task.

Results

Seventy-two residents and 56 experts were included in this study. Overall, the amount of time taken on the suturing task and seven out of eight MAPs significantly increased toward an expert level during the course, representing an improvement in task efficiency. During the first training day, the amount of time spent on the suturing task and five out of eight MAPs improved significantly. After the retention period, five out of eight MAPS demonstrated a significant improvement compared to the end of the first training day.

Conclusions

Laparoscopic skill of trainees as recorded by the TrEndo laparoscopic simulator grows toward an expert level during a laparoscopic training course in a large and heterogeneous study group. Construct validity of the TrEndo is established.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Dr. J. J. van den Dobbelsteen, Department of BioMechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, for his contribution and technical support regarding the TrEndo tracking device. We want to thank R. P. M. de Hoon, Department of Surgery, VU University Medical Center, for his very important contributions to the organization and logistics of the advanced suturing training program.

Disclosures

Pieter J. van Empel, Joris P. Commandeur, Lennart B. van Rijssen, Mathilde G. E. Verdam, Judith Huirne, Fedde Scheele, H. Jaap Bonjer, and Wilhelmus J. Meijerink have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Author information

Correspondence to Pieter J. van Empel.

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van Empel, P.J., Commandeur, J.P., van Rijssen, L.B. et al. Learning curve on the TrEndo laparoscopic simulator compared to an expert level. Surg Endosc 27, 2934–2939 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-013-2859-x

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Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Box trainer
  • Laparoscopy
  • Learning curve
  • Motion tracking
  • Psychomotor skills