Learning curves for laparoscopic sigmoidectomy used to manage curable sigmoid colon cancer: single-institute, three-surgeon experience
- 240 Downloads
Laparoscopic surgery demands mastery of a steep learning curve. Defining a learning curve in laparoscopic surgery is useful for planning training programs or clinical trials. This study aimed to define the learning curves for laparoscopic sigmoidectomy used to manage curable sigmoid colon cancer by evaluating early surgical outcome data from three colorectal surgeons.
This study analyzed data from 138 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic sigmoidectomy for curable sigmoid colon cancer performed by three colorectal surgeons between May 2001 and November 2006. The learning curve for each surgeon were generated using the moving average method to assess changes in operation time and cumulative sum (CUSUM) analysis to assess changes in failure rates [(failure = conversion to open surgery, major perioperative complication, or failure to harvest an adequate number of lymph nodes (<12 nodes)].
Learning curves generated with the moving average method indicated that the operation time reached a steady state after 42 cases for surgeon A, 35 cases for surgeon B, and 30 cases for surgeon C. The overall open conversion rate was 2.9%. There was only one laparoscopy-related perioperative major complication (0.7%). An inadequate number of lymph nodes was harvested in 10 cases (7.2%): 6 (10.5%) for surgeon A, 1 (2.4%) for surgeon B, and 3 (7.7%) for surgeon C. Learning curves generated using CUSUM analysis based on a 90% success rate showed that adequate learning occurred after 10 cases for surgeon A, 17 cases for surgeon B, and 5 cases for surgeon C.
Pertinent learning curves for laparoscopic sigmoidectomy used to manage curable sigmoid colon cancer can be generated using the moving average method and CUSUM analysis. These results are likely to be useful in designing laparoscopic training programs and clinical trials aimed at investigating outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery.
KeywordsColon cancer CUSUM Laparoscopy Learning curve Moving average Sigmoidectomy
This work was supported by the National Cancer Center Grant 0610280.
- 12.Compton CC, Fielding LP, Burgart LJ, Conley B, Cooper HS, Hamilton SR, Hammond ME, Henson DE, Hutter RV, Nagle RB, Nielsen ML, Sargent DJ, Taylor CR, Welton M, Willett C (2000) Prognostic factors in colorectal cancer. College of American Pathologists Consensus Statement 1999. Arch Pathol Lab Med 124:979–994PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 14.Greene FLP, Page DL, Fleming ID, Fritz A, Balch CM, Haller DG, Morrow M (2002) AJCC cancer staging manual, 6th edn. Lippincott Raven Publishers, Philadelphia, pp 107–117Google Scholar
- 15.Guillou PJ, Quirke P, Thorpe H, Walker J, Jayne DG, Smith AM, Heath RM, Brown JM (2005) Short-term end points of conventional versus laparoscopic-assisted surgery in patients with colorectal cancer (MRC CLASICC trial): multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet 365:1718–1726PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 26.Prandi M, Lionetto R, Bini A, Francioni G, Accarpio G, Anfossi A, Ballario E, Becchi G, Bonilauri S, Carobbi A, Cavaliere P, Garcea D, Giuliani L, Morziani E, Mosca F, Mussa A, Pasqualini M, Poddie D, Tonetti F, Zardo L, Rosso R (2002) Prognostic evaluation of stage B colon cancer patients is improved by an adequate lymphadenectomy: results of a secondary analysis of a large scale adjuvant trial. Ann Surg 235:458–463PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar