Acquiring laparoscopic skill proficiency: Does orientation matter?

Elysia Moschos, Robert L. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to determine whether side-on laparoscopic operating orientation alters time-to-skill mastery compared with head-on orientation. One hundred thirty-one medical students were randomly assigned by operating axis (camera position to operating field) and completed 10 attempts at each of 5 previously validated laparoscopic skills stations. Time-to-completion was recorded for each attempt, generating an orientation and skill station learning curve. Statistical analysis was performed by using repeated measures analysis of variance and linear, polynomial, and logarithmic models with 95% CIs. Sixty-eight students were randomly assigned to head-on orientation and 63 to side-on orientation. Comparing median time-to-completion by station, head-on attempts were faster than side-on attempts for every station. Comparing learning curves by orientation, side-on learning curves were steeper than head-on learning curves for every station, except one. Asymptotes were reached in both strata by the tenth attempt. Greater initial disorientation is seen with side-on orientation compared with head-on orientation. This can be overcome with practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1782-1787
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Laparoscopic orientation
  • Laparoscopic proficiency
  • Laparoscopic training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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