Stepwise training in laparoscopic surgery for complex ileocolonic Crohn's disease: analysis of 127 training episodes

Valerio Celentano, Karen G. Flashman

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Introduction: The inflammation encountered in Crohn's disease makes a minimally invasive approach challenging due to a thickened mesentery, fistulas, abscesses, and large phlegmons with high reported rates of conversion and septic complications. Aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a stepwise approach to training in laparoscopic surgery for complex Crohn's disease.

Methods: Every surgical procedure was divided in 4different training tasks: access and exposure, bowel mobilization, division of the mesentery, anastomosis. Extensive adhesiolysis and division and repair of fistulae were considered as additional tasks when present. The laparoscopic competence assessment tool was used to evaluate the safety and proficiency of the surgical performance. The primary outcome was the rate of training tasks successfully completed by surgical trainees.

Results: One hundred and twenty seven training episodes were included and 86 were performed by trainees (67.7%). Fistula division was the less commonly performed training task (25%), while mobilisation and anastomosis were performed by the supervised trainee in 90% and 85% of the cases. Safety and proficiency scores were significantly higher for senior trainees compared to junior trainees.

Conclusions: Laparoscopic surgery for complex Crohn's disease can be safely performed in a supervised setting with acceptable operating time, postoperative length of hospital stay, and 30day morbidity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Early online date28 Mar 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 28 Mar 2019


  • patient care
  • medical knowledge
  • practice-based learning and improvement
  • patient centered care


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