J Minim Invasive Surg.  2015 Dec;18(4):127-132. 10.7602/jmis.2015.18.4.127.

The Learning Curve of the Beginner Surgeon with Supervisor for Laparoscopic Totally Extraperitoneal Repair

  • 1Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Seoul, Korea. hurusa@hanmail.net


Despite acceptance of laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal (TEP) repair for repair of inguinal hernia, it is still considered to require a prolonged learning curve. We hypothesized that there would be differences in the learning curve for laparoscopic TEP repair among beginner surgeons with or without a supervisor. The current study was conducted to observe the learning curve for laparoscopic TEP repair performed by a surgeon without a supervisor.
A retrospective analysis of the consecutive 143 patients was conducted to document patients' demographics, hernia types, operative time, and operative outcomes after the operation. Patients were divided into 7 consecutive groups, each comprising 20 patients.
The mean age of the study population was 52.5 years (+/- 18.9 SD), ranging from 16 to 89 years. The learning curve of this technique was almost horizontal throughout the time course. The mean operative time was quite stable among each group. Comparison of the mean operation time and the length of hospital stay among each group did not show significant differences. There was one recurrence in group V.
The learning curve for laparoscopic TEP repair is not that prolonged if there is an experienced specialized supervisor and opportunities to observe the entire procedure performed by the supervisor are available. It is not the laparoscopic instrument skills but the way the procedure is performed that is important for successful outcomes.


Laparoscopic TEP repair; Inguinal hernia; Learning curve
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