Robotic Pancreatoduodenectomy Biotissue Curriculum has Validity and Improves Technical Performance for Surgical Oncology Fellows
Objective Obtaining the proficiency on the robotic platform necessary to safely perform a robotic pancreatoduodenectomy is particularly challenging. We hypothesize that by instituting a proficiency-based robotic training curriculum we can enhance novice surgeons’ skills outside of the operating room, leading to a shorter learning curve. Design A biotissue curriculum was designed consisting of sewing artificial organs to simulate a hepaticojejunostomy (HJ), gastrojejunostomy (GJ), and pancreaticojejunostomy (PJ). Three master robotic surgeons performed each biotissue anastomosis to assess validity. Using video review, trainee performance on biotissue drills was evaluated for time, errors and objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSATS) by 2 blinded graders. Setting This study is conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Pittsburgh, PA), a tertiary care academic teaching hospital. Participants In total, 14 surgical oncology fellows completed the biotissue curriculum. Results Fourteen fellows performed 196 anastomotic drills during the first year: 66 (HJ), 64 (GJ), and 66 (PJ). The fellows’ performances were analyzed as a group by attempt. The attendings’ first attempt outperformed the fellows’ first attempt in all metrics for every drill (all p Conclusion A pancreatoduodenectomy biotissue curriculum has face and construct validity. The curriculum is feasible and improves errors and technical performance. Time is the most difficult technical parameter to improve. This curriculum is a valid tool for teaching robotic pancreatoduodenectomies with established milestones for reaching optimum performance.