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05.08.2019 | Scientific Review | Ausgabe 11/2019

World Journal of Surgery 11/2019

Learning Curve in Laparoscopic Liver Resection, Educational Value of Simulation and Training Programmes: A Systematic Review

World Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 11/2019
Théophile Guilbaud, David Jérémie Birnbaum, Stéphane Berdah, Olivier Farges, Laura Beyer Berjot
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The laparoscopic approach is widely accepted as the procedure of choice for abdominal surgery. However, laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) has advanced slowly due to the significant learning curve (LC), and only few publications have dealt with advanced training in LLR.


Two reviewers conducted systematic research through MEDLINE and EMBASE with combinations of the following keywords: (learning curve OR teaching OR training OR simulation OR education) AND (liver OR hepatic) AND (laparoscopic OR laparoscopy). Robotic-assisted, hand-assisted and hybrid LLRs were excluded.


Nineteen studies were retrieved. Overall, the level of evidence was low. Thirteen articles assessed the LC during real-life LLR, and six articles focussed on simulation and training programmes in LLR. The LC in minor LLR comprised 60 cases overall, and 15 cases for standardised left lateral sectionectomy. For major LLR (MLLR), the LC was 50 cases for most studies, but was reported to be 15–20 cases in more recent studies, provided MLLR is performed progressively in selected patients. However, there was heterogeneity in the literature regarding the number of minor LLRs required before MLLR, with 60 minor LLRs reported as the minimum. Six studies showed a potential benefit of simulation and training programmes in this field. The gradual implementation of LLR combined with simulation-based training programmes could reduce the clinical impact of LC.


The LC in LLR is a long process, and MLLR should be gradually implemented under the supervision of experienced surgeons. Training outside the operating room may reduce the LC in real-life situations.

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