OBJECTIVES: To compare the efficacy of conventional and articulating laparoscopic needle-drivers for performing standardized laparoscopic tasks by medical students with no previous surgical experience. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty medical students with no surgical experience were randomly assigned to two equal groups, one using a conventional laparoscopic needle-holder (Karl Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany) and the other using a first-generation articulating laparoscopic needle-holder (Cambridge Endo, Framingham, MA, USA). Each student performed a series of four standardized laparoscopic tasks, during which speed and accuracy were assessed. The tasks tested needle passage through rings (1), an oblique running suture model (2), a urethrovesical anastomosis model (3) and a model simulating renal parenchymal reconstruction following partial nephrectomy (4). RESULTS: Tasks 1 and 3 were completed significantly more quickly by those using the conventional instruments (P < 0.05), but there was no statistically significant difference for task 2 and 4 (P > 0.05). Those using conventional instruments were significantly more accurate in all of the tasks than those using the articulated instruments (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The conventional laparoscopic needle-driver allowed laparoscopy-naive medical students to complete a series of standardized suturing tasks more rapidly and accurately than with the novel articulating needle-driver. Laparoscopic suturing with first-generation articulating needle-drivers might be more difficult to learn, secondary to the complexity of physical manoeuvres required for their use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas