Prospective randomized assessment of acquisition and retention of SILS skills after simulation training
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Skills in single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) are difficult to acquire. Simulation training leads to skill acquisition but circumstances about skill deterioration are unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate skill acquisition and retention after single-incision laparoscopic simulation training.
From October 2013 to January 2014, 30 surgically naive participants underwent a SILS training curriculum and completed two validated tasks (peg transfer, precision cutting) with subsequent testing to assess acquisition of skills (baseline testing, BT). The participants were randomized into two groups and skill retention testing (RT) was measured after 4 weeks (group A) or 12 weeks (group B). Task completion was measured in time with penalties for inaccurate performance.
A SILS training curriculum was established. 90 % of the participants completed the training successfully and reached the required levels of proficiency. Comparison of BT and RT revealed significantly better RT performances for peg transfer and precision cutting in group A (P < 0.05). These effects were not seen for RT in group B. Evaluating the RT performance of both groups, group A showed a non-significant trend for improved peg transfer and precision cutting compared to group B.
A proficiency-based training curriculum for acquisition of basic SILS skills was successfully established in our department. The results of this study indicate that acquired SILS skills are well retained for a short period without training (4 weeks) but a longer non-training period (12 weeks) resulted in a significant loss of acquired skills. For enhancement of surgical skills, specialised SILS training curricula could be developed for novices and inexperienced surgeons; however, continuous training is essential to maintain these acquired skills.
KeywordsSILS Training Simulation Skill acquisition Skill retention
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