Multicenter proficiency benchmarks for advanced laparoscopic suturing tasks

Am J Surg. 2017 Feb;213(2):217-221. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2016.07.033. Epub 2016 Oct 8.


Background: Advanced laparoscopic suturing (LS) tasks were developed based on a needs assessment. Initial validity evidence has been shown. The purpose of this multicenter study was to determine expert proficiency benchmarks for these tasks.

Methods: 6 tasks were included: needle handling (NH), offset-camera forehand suturing (OF), offset-camera backhand suturing (OB), confined space suturing (CF), suturing under tension (UT), and continuous suturing (CS). Minimally invasive surgeons experienced in LS completed the tasks twice. Mean time and median accuracy scores were used to establish the benchmarks.

Results: Seventeen MIS surgeons enrolled, from 7 academic centers. Mean (95% CI) time in seconds to complete each task was: NH 169 (149-189), OF 158 (134-181), OB 189 (154-224), CF 181 (156-205), UT 379 (334-423), and CS 416 (354-477). Very few errors in accuracy were made by experts in each of the tasks.

Conclusions: Time- and accuracy-based proficiency benchmarks for 6 advanced LS tasks were established. These benchmarks will be included in an advanced laparoscopic surgery curriculum currently under development.

Keywords: Assessment; Competency; Laparoscopy; Performance; Proficiency; Simulation; Suturing.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Benchmarking*
  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / education*
  • Laparoscopy / standards
  • Male
  • Operative Time
  • Prospective Studies
  • Simulation Training
  • Suture Techniques / education*
  • Suture Techniques / standards
  • United States