Purpose: Laparoscopic and open surgical skills differ distinctly from one another. Our institute provides laparoscopic surgical skills training for currently active surgeons throughout Japan. This study was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of our 2-day standardized laparoscopic surgical skills training program over its 10-year history. Methods: We analyzed the data on trainee characteristics, outcomes of skills assessments at the beginning and end of the program, and self-assessment after 6 months using a questionnaire survey. Results: From January 2004 to December 2013, 914 surgeons completed the 2-day training program. Peaks in postgraduate years of experience occurred at years 2, 8, and 17. Suturing and knot tying times were significantly shorter at the end than beginning of the program (p < 0.001). However, the numbers of misplaced and loose sutures, maximum misplacement distance, and number of injuries to the rubber sheet were significantly higher at the end of the program (p < 0.001). A questionnaire at 6 months post-training revealed significant improvements in the overall skills and forceps manipulation (p < 0.0001) and a significantly shorter mean operation time for laparoscopic cholecystectomy (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Our 2-day training program for active Japanese surgeons is thus considered to be effective; however, continued voluntary training is important and further outcomes assessments are needed.
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