Single incision laparoscopic proficiency correlates with residency training level

J Surg Res. 2018 Jan:221:211-215. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2017.08.050. Epub 2017 Sep 26.


Background: With experience, certain psychomotor skills should translate from standard laparoscopy to single-incision laparoscopy (SIL). We proposed to compare all surgical postgraduate year (PGY) levels and determine if experience translated to improved SIL skills.

Methods: Surgical residents of all PGY levels (1-5) at our institution were included. Baseline surveys were obtained to determine resident level of exposure to both SIL and standard laparoscopic cases. Participants performed the following tasks: running of the bowel, endoloop placement, extracorporeal suture tying, and intracorporeal suture tying. Tasks were performed on a commercially provided simulated inanimate organ model. Participants were given 5 min to complete each task. Data were collected and analyzed by an impartial-certified Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery proctor.

Results: A total of 31 residents participated in the study. Overall, there was minimal SIL exposure among all residents. As expected, PGY level correlated with increased ability to complete assigned tasks within the allotted time. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of individuals able to complete a task based on PGY level for all given tasks (P = 0.005). With increased difficulty, the percentage of higher level residents able to complete the task decreased (100% PGY5 completed running of bowel versus 0% intracorporeal knot tying).

Conclusions: Certain psychomotor skills did appear to translate to SIL skills. However, further dedicated SIL training may help to better develop certain laparoscopic skills devoted to SIL.

Keywords: FLS; SIL; Simulation; Single incision.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Laparoscopy / standards*
  • Suture Techniques / standards