To quantify the complexity of each of three skills used in laparoscopic colon surgery and to quantify the relative complexity of seven laparoscopic colon procedures on a graduated complexity scale.
Five surgeons used a scale of 1 through 6 to measure the relative complexity of three laparoscopic skills (intracorporeal mobilization, intracorporeal devascularization, and intracorporeal anastomosis) to assess the relative difficulty of seven laparoscopic procedures (right colon resection, sigmoid colon resection, low anterior resection, Hartmann's procedure, left colon resection, abdominoperineal resection, and transverse colon resection) using detailed evaluation of their first 100 laparoscopic colon resections.
Three private community hospitals.
Main Outcome Measures:
The complexities of intracorporeal mobilization, intracorporeal devascularization, and intracorporeal anastomosis were recorded for seven laparoscopic colon procedures.
The least complex procedure was right colon resection, followed in increasing complexity by sigmoid colon, Hartmann's procedure, low anterior resection, abdominoperineal resection, left colon resection, and transverse colon resection. The addition of each laparoscopic skill increased the complexity during each procedure. All three skills were not required for every procedure.
Since all procedures do not require all three skills, skills can be learned sequentially if patients are chosen judiciously. A sequence of laparoscopic procedures performed by surgeons is recommended. The relative complexities for each procedure suggest an outline (map) for surgeons to use during laparoscopic colon surgery.(Arch Surg. 1994;129:206-212)