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Journal of Surgical Education. 2012;69(4):468-472.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Single incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (SILC) has recently emerged as an option for selected patients undergoing gallbladder removal. While SILC appears safe when performed by experienced surgeons under controlled conditions, there are no studies evaluating the SILC learning curve for incorporation into resident education and the effect on OR efficiency. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Chief residents were taught and evaluated by a single attending surgeon facile with SILC techniques. Residents were transitioned from assistants to primary surgeon during their clinical rotation. Outcomes data were prospectively tabulated compared with data from standard laparoscopic SLC and attending surgeon SILC outcomes. The setting was an academic, tertiary care teaching hospital. Participants were chief residents rotating on hepatobiliary surgery service. Residents previously had demonstrated mastery of basic laparoscopic surgical techniques. RESULTS: Seven chief residents were evaluated with a total of 49 SILCs with a mean of 7 (range 5-12) SILCS/resident. Five conversions to SLC occurred, all within the first 3 SILCs performed by the resident as operative surgeon. Mean blood loss was 30 mL. Median length of stay was <1 day. Average length of operation increased after the first 2 cases, reflecting the transition of the attending surgeon from primary surgeon to assistant role. By the fifth case, operative times returned to the attending surgeon SILC baseline and historical operative times for SLC at our institution. Factors associated with longer-length of surgery were increasing BMI and presence of acute or chronic cholecystitis, choledocholithiasis, and use of intraoperative cholangiogram. Five postoperative complications occurred and were not associated with position along the resident's learning curve. One death occurred due to metastatic laryngeal cancer within 30 days of SILC. CONCLUSIONS: Residents can safely be taught the techniques of SILC with minimal disruption to operating room efficiency. Residents already proficient in the use of standard laparoscopic techniques transition to SILC quickly with a short learning curve and proper instruction. © 2012 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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