Development and evaluation of a cadaveric training curriculum for low rectal cancer surgery in the English LOREC National Development Programme

Colorectal Dis. 2014 Sep;16(9):O308-19. doi: 10.1111/codi.12576.


Aim: The National Development Programme for Low Rectal Cancer in England (LOREC) was commissioned in response to wide variation in the outcome of patients with low rectal cancer. One of the aims of LOREC was to enhance surgical techniques in managing low rectal cancer. This study reports on the development and evaluation of a novel national technical skills cadaveric training curriculum in extralevator abdominoperineal excision.

Method: Three sites were commissioned for the cadaveric workshops, each delivering the same training curriculum. Training was undertaken in pairs using a fresh-frozen cadaveric model under the supervision of expert mentors. Global assessment score (GAS) forms were developed to promote reflective learning. Feedback on the impact of the workshop was obtained from a sample of delegates at the end of the course, and also after 3-23 months via an online questionnaire.

Results: Overall 112 consultant colorectal surgeons attended one of 15 cadaveric technical skills training workshops. Seventy-six per cent of delegates reported easy identification of anatomy in the cadaveric model; 67% found tissue planes easy to interpret. Ninety-six per cent of delegates felt the workshop would influence their future practice; 96% reported increased awareness of important anatomy. Only 2% of delegates wished to pursue supplementary formal training from LOREC.

Conclusion: Fresh-frozen cadavers could provide an effective training model for low rectal surgery. A structured 1-day cadaveric workshop has facilitated the dissemination of technical skills for management of low rectal cancer. Attending the cadaveric workshop enhanced delegates' confidence in performing this procedure.

Keywords: Cadaveric training; ELAPE; LOREC; rectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Cadaver*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Colorectal Surgery / education*
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational*
  • Perineum / surgery
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery*