ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effectiveness of surgical simulation compared with other methods of surgical training.
Surgical simulation (with or without computers) is attractive because it avoids the use of patients for skills practice and provides relevant technical training for trainees before they operate on humans.
Studies were identified through searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and other databases until April 2005. Included studies must have been randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing any training technique using at least some elements of surgical simulation, which reported measures of surgical task performance.
Thirty RCTs with 760 participants were able to be included, although the quality of the RCTs was often poor. Computer simulation generally showed better results than no training at all (and than physical trainer/model training in one RCT), but was not convincingly superior to standard training (such as surgical drills) or video simulation (particularly when assessed by operative performance). Video simulation did not show consistently better results than groups with no training at all, and there were not enough data to determine if video simulation was better than standard training or the use of models. Model simulation may have been better than standard training, and cadaver training may have been better than model training.
While there may be compelling reasons to reduce reliance on patients, cadavers, and animals for surgical training, none of the methods of simulated training has yet been shown to be better than other forms of surgical training.
Annals of Surgery 04/2006; 243(3):291-300. · 7.49 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To systematically review radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for treating liver tumors.
Databases were searched in July 2003.
Studies comparing RFA with other therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and colorectal liver metastases (CLM) plus selected case series for CLM.
One researcher used standardized data extraction tables developed before the study, and these were checked by a second researcher.
For HCC, 13 comparative studies were included, 4 of which were randomized, controlled trials. For CLM, 13 studies were included, 2 of which were nonrandomized comparative studies and 11 that were case series. There did not seem to be any distinct differences in the complication rates between RFA and any of the other procedures for treatment of HCC. The local recurrence rate at 2 years showed a statistically significant benefit for RFA over percutaneous ethanol injection for treatment of HCC (6% vs 26%, 1 randomized, controlled trial). Local recurrence was reported to be more common after RFA than after laser-induced thermotherapy, and a higher recurrence rate and a shorter time to recurrence were associated with RFA compared with surgical resection (1 nonrandomized study each). For CLM, the postoperative complication rate ranged from 0% to 33% (3 case series). Survival after diagnosis was shorter in the CLM group treated with RFA than in the surgical resection group (1 nonrandomized study). The CLM local recurrence rate after RFA ranged from 4% to 55% (6 case series).
Radiofrequency ablation may be more effective than other treatments in terms of less recurrence of HCC and may be as safe, although the evidence is scant. There was not enough evidence to determine the safety or efficacy of RFA for treatment of CLM.
Archives of Surgery 03/2006; 141(2):181-90. · 4.24 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to systematically review the evidence relating to the safety and efficacy of transanal endoscopic microsurgery, a relatively new technique used to locally excise rectal tumors, compared with existing techniques such as anterior resections and abdominoperineal resections or local excisions.
We conducted a systematic review of comparative studies and case series of transanal endoscopic microsurgery from 1980 to August 2002.
Three comparative studies (including one randomized, controlled trial) and 55 case series were included. The first area of study was the safety and efficacy of adenomas. In the randomized, controlled trial, no difference could be detected in the rate of early complications between transanal endoscopic microsurgery (10.3 percent) and direct local excision (17 percent) (relative risk, 0.61; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.29-1.29). Transanal endoscopic microsurgery resulted in less local recurrence (6/98; 6 percent) than direct local excision (20/90; 22 percent) (relative risk, 0.28; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.12-0.66). The 6 percent rate of local recurrence for transanal endoscopic microsurgery in this trial is consistent with the rates found in case series of transanal endoscopic microsurgery (median, 5 percent). The second area of study was the safety and efficacy of carcinomas. In the randomized, controlled trial, no difference could be detected in the rate of complications between transanal endoscopic microsurgery and direct local excision (relative risk for overall early complication rates, 0.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.22-1.42). No differences in survival or local recurrence rate between transanal endoscopic microsurgery and anterior resection could be detected in either the randomized, controlled trial (hazard ratio,1.02 for survival) or the nonrandomized, comparative study. There were 2 of 25 (8 percent) transanal endoscopic microsurgery recurrences in the randomized, controlled trial, but no figures were given for recurrence after anterior resection. In the case series, the median local recurrence rate for transanal endoscopic microsurgery was 8.4 percent, ranging from 0 percent to 50 percent. The third comparison was cost of the procedures. Transanal endoscopic microsurgery had both a lower recurrence rate and a lower cost than local excision or anterior resection for adenomas. Although the effectiveness of transanal endoscopic microsurgery could not be established for carcinomas, costs were lower than those for either anterior resection or abdominoperineal resection.
The evidence regarding transanal endoscopic microsurgery is very limited, being largely based on a single relatively small randomized, controlled trial. However, transanal endoscopic microsurgery does appear to result in fewer recurrences than those with direct local excision in adenomas and thus may be a useful procedure for several small niches of patient types--e.g., for large benign lesions of the middle to upper third of the rectum, for T1 low-risk rectal cancers, and for palliative, not curative, use in more advanced tumors.
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 03/2005; 48(2):270-84. · 3.13 Impact Factor