Pimentel 2018

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Does Previous Laparoscopic Experience Influence Basic Robotic Surgical Skills?

Marcelo Pimentel MSc, PhD⁎‡Renan Desimon Cabral MSc† Márcio Machado Costa MSc, PhD‡ Brasil Silva Neto MSc, PhD⁎†Leandro Tott iCavazzola MSc, PhD⁎§


Studies addressing the effect of laparoscopic experience on robotic skills have produced conflicting results. This study aimed to compare simulated robotic surgical tasks using the virtual reality simulator dV-Trainer between laparoscopically experienced surgeons and first-year surgical residents.


A cross-sectional study. Participants completed 4 trials of the following tasks on the dV-Trainer: Peg Board 2, Ring and Rail 1, and Suture Sponge 1. Performance was recorded using a computerized built-in scoring algorithm. Scores and metrics were compared between groups 1 and 2 and between the first and subsequent trials.


Hospital de Clínicas, Porto Alegre, Brazil, a tertiary care teaching hospital.


Twenty laparoscopically experienced surgeons (group 1) and 20 first-year surgical residents (group 2). All participants completed the study.


The overall scores for Peg Board 2 (738.04 ± 267.83 vs 730.39 ± 225.31; p  = 0.57), Ring and Rail 1 (919.03 ± 242.69 vs 965.84 ± 222.96; p  =  0.13), and Suture Sponge 1 (563.62 ± 185.50 vs 560.99 ± 152.71; p = 0.67) did not differ significantly between groups 1 and 2. Group 1 had better results for master workspace range in Peg Board 2 and Ring and Rail 1. Group 2 had higher scores for economy of motion in Peg Board 2 and Ring and Rail 1 and for excessive instrument force in Ring and Rail 1. In both groups, the overall scores in the third and fourth trials were significantly higher than those in the first trial.


There are no significant differences in the performance of simulated robotic surgical tasks between laparoscopically experienced surgeons and laparoscopically naïve surgical residents. Some slight differences were observed in specific metrics, but these differences were not sufficient to change the final results. We may assume that laparoscopic experience should not be an essential step in the initial learning curve of robotic surgery.

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