Resident Knowledge, Surgical Skill, and Confidence in Transobturator Vaginal Tape Placement: The Value of a Cadaver Laboratory

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The objective of this study is to examine the effect of additional cadaver laboratory use in training obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) residents on transobturator vaginal tape (TOT) insertion.


Thirty-four OBGYN residents were randomized into 2 groups (group 1, control; group 2, intervention; 17 in each group). Before and after the interventions, written knowledge and confidence levels were assessed. Both groups received didactic lectures using a bony pelvis and an instructional video on TOT insertion; group 2 participated in a half day cadaver laboratory. Surgical skills were assessed by placing 1 arm of the TOT trocar on a custom-designed pelvic model simulator while being graded by an Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) board-certified proctor.


Demographics were comparable. Baseline knowledge and confidence level before interventions were similar. After interventions, knowledge scores improved for both groups (8.8% for group 1; 14.1% for group 2); TOT insertion scores were significantly higher in group 2 (6.76/15 ± 2.54 group 1; 10.24/15 ± 2.73 group 2, P < 0.01); confidence scores improved in both groups. The pelvic model simulator was rated as the most useful method to learn TOT placement by group 1. Group 2 rated TOT simulation (47%) and cadaver laboratory (41%). All trainees reported that the pelvic model was highly realistic.


Cadaver laboratory exposure, along with other educational interventions (lectures and video), improves OBGYN residents' confidence, knowledge, and surgical skills regarding TOT placement. The custom-designed pelvic model allows for a realistic simulation of TOT placement: it can be used to assess resident surgical skills and also aid the training of OBGYN residents.

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