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.