Date: 11 May 2006

The impact of laparoscopic bariatric workshops on the practice patterns of surgeons

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This study was designed to evaluate the impact of a 2-day laparoscopic bariatric workshop on the practice patterns of participating surgeons.


From October 1998 to June 2002, 18 laparoscopic bariatric workshops were attended by 300 surgeons. Questionnaires were mailed to all participants.


Responses were received from 124 surgeons (41%), among whom were 56 bariatric surgeons (open) (45%), 30 advanced laparoscopic surgeons (24%), and 38 surgeons who performed neither bariatric nor advanced laparoscopic surgery (31%). The questionnaire responses showed that 46 surgeons (37%) currently are performing laparoscopic gastric bypass (LGB), 38 (31%) are performing open gastric bypass, and 39 (32%) are not performing bariatric surgery. Since completion of the course, 46 surgeons have performed 8,893 LGBs (mean, 193 cases/surgeon). Overall, 87 of the surgeons (70%) thought that a limited preceptorship was necessary before performance of LGB, yet only 25% underwent this additional training. According to a poll, the respondents thought that, on the average, 50 cases (range, 10–150 cases) are needed for a claim of proficiency.


Laparoscopic bariatric workshops are effective educational tools for surgeons wishing to adopt bariatric surgery. Open bariatric surgeons have the highest rates of adopting laparoscopic techniques and tend to participate in more adjunctive training before performing LGB. There was consensus that the learning curve is steep, and that additional training often is necessary. The authors propose a mechanism for post-residency skill acquisition for advanced laparoscopic surgery.

Presented at the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) 2003 Scientific Session, 15 March 2003, Los Angeles, California