Training level affected operative time for laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, but not for the robotic procedure, according to Maureen D. Moore, MD, and her associates.
Further, in laparoscopic and robotic procedures, junior and senior assistant cohorts had similar outcome measures for estimated blood loss, length of stay, postoperative complications, and 30-day readmission rate.
“The robotic technique offers unique advantages as an educational platform and potentially allows for increased trainee participation without compromising perioperative outcomes,” researchers concluded.
They evaluated surgical times and outcomes for 105 patients; junior assistants (postgraduate year-3 surgery residents) were present in 29 laparoscopic and 44 robotic procedures and senior assistants (minimally invasive surgery fellows) assisted in 18 laparoscopic and 14 robotic procedures.
Median operative time was significantly shorter for the laparoscopic procedures, 112 minutes vs. 157 minutes for the robotic procedures (P less than 0.001). Plus, the median operative time was significantly lower when senior assistants were involved in the laparoscopic procedures, 85 minutes vs. 129 minutes for the junior assistants (P = 0.02).
For the robotic procedures, the median operative times were not significantly different based on the assistant’s level of training, 154 minutes vs. 158 minutes.
Read the full study in the Journal of Surgical Research ().