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Three-dimensional imaging improves surgical skill performance in a laparoscopic test model for both experienced and novice laparoscopic surgeons


Study objective

The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the impact of three-dimensional (3D) imaging system on the performance of basic laparoscopic tasks in a test model by novice and experienced surgeons.


Three tasks were performed in a test model by 30 surgeons, 15 experienced surgeons, and 15 with minimal laparoscopic experience. The tasks were performed using 2D and 3D vision systems.

Design classification

Canadian Task Force II-1.


Fifteen experienced laparoscopic surgeons and fifteen novices with minimal laparoscopic experience.


Performance times were recorded using both two-dimensional and 3D imaging system for each task.

Main results

Performance time for all skills was significantly (P < 0.02) shorter when using 3D imaging system. Performance times were reduced by 18–31 % using 3D imaging for all participants. Experienced surgeons performed the tasks faster and showed similar improvement while using 3D imaging system.


3D vision systems allow for significant improvement in performance times of basic laparoscopic tasks in a test model for both inexperienced and advanced laparoscopic surgeons. Experienced surgeons benefit as much as novices from 3D imaging system.

This benefit should be weighed against the disadvantages of the 3D vision systems, mainly cost, decreased light, eye strain, headaches, and shorter focal lengths.

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Drs. Roy Mashiach, Vadym Mezhybovsky, Avinoam Nevler, Mordechai Gutman, Amitai Ziv and Marat Khaikin have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Roy Mashiach.

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Mashiach, R., Mezhybovsky, V., Nevler, A. et al. Three-dimensional imaging improves surgical skill performance in a laparoscopic test model for both experienced and novice laparoscopic surgeons. Surg Endosc 28, 3489–3493 (2014).

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  • Two-dimensional vision
  • Three-dimensional vision
  • Novice
  • Experienced
  • Laparoscopy