Dissection efficiency during laparoscopic oesophageal dissection

P. C. Leeder, M. Patkin, J. Stoddard, David I. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Advanced techniques in laparoscopic surgery have led to an increased need for appropriate training in instrument handling and dissection. Recent developments in computer video technology have facilitated critical analysis of surgical technique. Video deconstruction of oesophageal hiatal dissection during six laparoscopic fundoplication procedures was undertaken. The procedures were performed by surgeons with a wide range of surgical experience, and the investigators analysing performance were blinded to their level of training. Sequential five-second video segments were analysed in detail by 3 investigators. A taxonomy list was developed to describe individual types of movement. The number and time per movement was assessed and a degree of efficiency was assigned. An efficient movement was defined as one that advances the dissection towards a recognised goal. The total oesophageal dissection time varied from 10 minutes (min) to 25 min (mean 16 min). The mean number of actions performed was 173 (range 120-272). A mean of 7 min was spent separating tissues (range 5-13), with 6 min spent grasping and positioning tissue (range 3-8). The amount of time spent in inefficient movement varied from 3 to 14 min (mean 7 min). The greatest variation between operators was seen in the efficiency of tissue separation when using dissecting instruments. Inexperienced operators spent a lot more time performing additional movements such as scope cleaning, observation and instrument exchange. This technique of video deconstruction can identify key areas for improvement. This could be used for trainee assessment and to provide constructive feedback. Future development in this area could enhance training in advanced laparoscopic techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalMinimally Invasive Therapy and Allied Technologies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Dissection
  • Laparoscopy
  • Oesophagus
  • Surgical skill


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