Description and validation of a modular training system for laparoscopic nephrectomy

Grant D Stewart, Simon Phipps, Brian Little, John Leveckis, Jens-Uwe Stolzenburg, David A Tolley, S Alan McNeill, Antony C P Riddick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose
Laparoscopic nephrectomy (LN) has largely replaced open nephrectomy. The aim of this study was to describe a validated modular system for training urologists in LN in the context of the shorter training times available in the current era.

After attendance at dry and wet laboratory courses, three mentees (trainee, new consultant, and an experienced open surgeon) were mentored through a five-module LN training system in our center followed by the mentee's own hospital. A minimum of 25 independent procedures were then performed by mentees in their own hospital.

There were 17 to 32 mentored cases needed to become competent in LN, followed by up to 5 observed cases in the mentee's own center. Subsequently, data from the first 105 cases (80 LN and 25 laparoscopic nephroureterectomies [LNU]) performed by the three surgeons after the end of their training without observation by their mentor were retrospectively collected and analyzed. There were three conversions (2.9%). For LN and LNU, respectively: median operative time was 140 minutes (65–390 min) and 180 minutes (90–300 min); median estimated blood loss was 30 mL (0–2000 mL) and 50 mL (0–2000 mL); median postoperative stay was 4 days (2–45 days) and 6 days (3–27 days). Four (3.8%) patients needed a postoperative transfusion. There was no 30-day mortality.

Mentees matched the median British Association for Urological Surgeons (BAUS) registry operative time (LN, 120–180 min, LNU, 180–240 min) and had lower conversion rates (2.9% vs 6.4% for BAUS). Mentees matched median BAUS database reported blood loss (LN and LNU <500 mL) and length of stay (LN–4 days, LNU–5 days). This modular training program allows urologists to become independent in LN after a short period of focused training in the training center followed by a short period of mentoring in the mentee's own center.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1517
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Mentors
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult

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