Outcomes of an innovative training course in laparoscopic hernia repair

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The Ethicon™ laparoscopic inguinal groin hernia training (LIGHT) course is an educational course based on three days of teaching on laparoscopic hernia surgery. The first day involves didactic lectures with tutorials. The second day involves practical cadaveric procedures in laparoscopic hernia surgery. The third day involves direct supervision by a consultant surgeon during laparoscopic hernia surgery on a real patient. We reviewed our outcomes for procedures performed on real patients on the final day of the course for early complications and outcomes.

METHODS

A retrospective study was undertaken of patients who had laparoscopic hernia surgery as part of the LIGHT course from 2013 to 2015. A matched control cohort of patients who had elective laparoscopic hernia surgery over the study period was identified. These patients had their surgery performed by the same consultant general surgeons involved in delivering the course. All patients were followed up at 6 weeks postoperatively.

RESULTS

A total of 60 patients had a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair and 23 patients had a laparoscopic ventral hernia repair during the course. The mean operative time for laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair was 48 minutes for trainees (range 22-90 minutes) and 35 minutes for consultant surgeons (range 18-80 minutes). There were no intraoperative injuries or returns to theatre in either group. All the patients operated on during the course were successfully performed as daycase procedures. The mean operative time for laparoscopic ventral hernia repair was 64 minutes for trainees (range 40-120 minutes) and 51 minutes for consultant surgeons (range 30-130 minutes).

CONCLUSIONS

The outcomes of patients operated on during the LIGHT course are comparable to procedures performed by a consultant. Supervised operating by trainees is a safe and effective educational model in hernia surgery.

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