Proficiency-based virtual reality training significantly reduces the error rate for residents during their first 10 laparoscopic cholecystectomies

Am J Surg. 2007 Jun;193(6):797-804. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2006.06.050.


Background: Virtual reality (VR) training has been shown previously to improve intraoperative performance during part of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of proficiency-based VR training on the outcome of the first 10 entire cholecystectomies performed by novices.

Methods: Thirteen laparoscopically inexperienced residents were randomized to either (1) VR training until a predefined expert level of performance was reached, or (2) the control group. Videotapes of each resident's first 10 procedures were reviewed independently in a blinded fashion and scored for predefined errors.

Results: The VR-trained group consistently made significantly fewer errors (P = .0037). On the other hand, residents in the control group made, on average, 3 times as many errors and used 58% longer surgical time.

Conclusions: The results of this study show that training on the VR simulator to a level of proficiency significantly improves intraoperative performance during a resident's first 10 laparoscopic cholecystectomies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / education*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Gallstones / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Students, Medical / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Video Recording