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Long Learning Curve for Gallbladder Surgery

According to an article published in the Journal of Laparoendoscopic Surgery, there is a learning curve for doctors who perform laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.  The authors evaluated 416 surgeries that were performed by eight surgeons in a community teaching hospital.  Conversion rate, operative time and complications were evaluated to define the learning curve.  Three-dimensional depth perception is lost with all laparoscopic procedures.  Two-dimensional magnified visualization is provided by the laparoscope.  Manipulations and dissection take place under a laparoscopic vision through long instruments.  Postoperative complications occurred in 4.5 percent of the first thirty cases and 1.7 percent after the thirtieth case.  The authors concluded that there is a long learning curve based on the fact that improvement in these areas occurred only after the thirty-fifth case.