Systematic Review on Mentoring and Simulation in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK.
Annals of surgery (Impact Factor: 8.33). 12/2010; 252(6):943-51. DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181f662e5
Source: PubMed


To identify and evaluate the influence of mentoring and simulated training in laparoscopic colorectal surgery (LCS) and define the key components for learning advanced technical skills.
Laparoscopic colorectal surgery is a complex procedure, often being self-taught by senior surgeons. Educational issues such as inadequate training facilities or a shortfall of training fellowships may result in a slow uptake of LCS. The effectiveness of mentored and simulated training, however, remains unclear.
We conducted a systematic search, using Ovid databases. Four study categories were identified: mentored versus nonmentored cases, training case selection, simulation, and assessment. We performed a meta-analysis and a mixed model regression on the difference of the main outcome measures (conversion rates, morbidity, and mortality) for mentored trainees and expert surgeons. We also compared conversion rates of mentored and nonmentored. Meta-analysis of risk factors for conversion was performed using published and unpublished data sets requested from various investigators. For studies on simulation, we compared scores of surveys on the perception of different training courses.
Thirty-seven studies were included. Pooled weighted outcomes of mentored cases (n = 751) showed a lower conversion rate (13.3% vs 20.5%, P = 0.0332) compared with nonmentored cases (n = 695). Compared to expert case series (n = 5313), there was no difference in conversion (P = 0.2835), anastomotic leak (P = 0.8342), or mortality (P = 0.5680). A meta-analysis of training case selection data (n = 4444) revealed male sex (P < 0.0001), previous abdominal surgery (P = 0.0200), a BMI greater than 30 (P = 0.0050), an ASA of less than 2 (P < 0.0001), colorectal cancer (P < 0.0001) and intra-abdominal fistula (P < 0.0001), but not older than 64 years (P = 0.4800), to significantly increase conversion risk. Participants on cadaveric courses were highly satisfied with the teaching value yet trainees on an animal course gave less positive feedback. Structured assessment for LCS has been partially implemented.
This review and meta-analysis supports evidence that trainees can obtain similar clinical results like expert surgeons in laparoscopic colorectal surgery if supervised by an experienced trainer. Cadaveric models currently provide the best value for training in a simulated environment. There remains a need for further research into technical skills assessment and the educational value of simulated training.

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    • "Numerous steps have been taken towards introducing structured mentoring across medicine in order to formalise relationships, set goals and provide training for mentors, with the overall aim being maximisation of personal potential and professional achievements of the mentee. Specifically within surgery, it has been shown that focused mentoring can improve attainment of technical surgical endpoints, such as has been demonstrated in the context of laparoscopic colorectal training [13] "
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    ABSTRACT: Mentoring has been present within surgical training for many years, albeit in different forms. There is evidence that formal mentoring can improve patient outcomes and facilitate learning and personal growth in the mentee. The Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT) is an independent educational charity working to promote excellence in surgical training. This document recommends the introduction of a structured mentoring programme, which is readily accessible to all surgical trainees. A review of the available evidence - including an ASiT-led survey of its membership - highlights the desire of surgical trainees to have a mentor, whilst the majority do not have access to one. There is also very limited training for those in mentoring roles. In response, ASiT have implemented a pilot mentoring scheme, with surgical trainees acting both as mentors and mentees. Based on the existing literature, survey data and pilot experience, ASiT formalises in this document consensus recommendations for mentoring in surgical training.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine and compare the opinions of trainees and trainers attending courses using two simulation models (fresh frozen cadavers or anaesthetized pigs) and to assess trainees' degree of insight into both the difficulty of different procedures and their operative performance in the simulated environment. Trainers and trainees attending the training courses completed questionnaires. Performance was evaluated using the Global Assessment Score (GAS). Data were collected over a 12-month period from 26 trainers and 77 trainees. The overall satisfaction was high after attendance at either course (4.50 vs. 4.49; p=0.83). When the opinions of the trainees and trainers in cadaveric and animal courses were compared, the findings rated the animal model as superior in terms of tissue quality (3.97 vs. 3.55; p=0.02), persistence of air leak (1.43 vs. 2.40; p<0.001), and lack of disturbance by odor (4.24 vs. 3.41; p<0.001). The cadaveric model provided more realistic simulation for port placement (4.02 vs. 3.11; p<0.001) and anatomy (4.25 vs. 3.00; p<0.001) and was perceived to be superior as a training model (4.53 vs. 3.61; p=0.001). The trainees demonstrated good insight into procedure difficulty and their operative performance. The trainees and trainers were shown to have a good concordance of scores. The trainees were more inclined to underrate and the peers to overrate their performance. Trainees appear to have a good insight into procedure difficulty and their ability. Both training models have advantages and disadvantages, but overall, the cadaveric model is perceived to have a higher fidelity and greater educational value.
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