Stratification of expert vs novice laparoscopists using the Basic Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery (BLUS) curriculum at a single institution

Sree Harsha Mandava, James Liu, Michael M. Maddox, Benjamin Woodson, Raju Thomas, Benjamin R. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose To assess determinants of performance applying the tasks of the Basic Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery (BLUS) skills curriculum administered at a single institution. Methods After obtaining institutional review board approval, fourth-year medical students, urology residents (postgraduate year 1-5), and staff attending surgeons from an academic institution were recruited. Participants were grouped by level of experience and evaluated on 4 different BLUS modules testing fundamental laparoscopic techniques from September 2012 to September 2013. Task completion time (TCT) and missed objectives were compared with previous laparoscopic experience, amount of endourological training, and scores obtained through the EDGE simulator. Results TCTs among the participants were slower and accrued greater errors in the novice group (n = 10) than in the intermediate-level (n = 9) and expert-level (n = 9) groups. Completion times on the peg transfer were 213.4, 128.1, and 108.7 seconds (p < 0.05); on the circle cutting were 182.4, 128.3, and 97.2 seconds (p < 0.05); on the clip application were 44.4, 43.2, and 38.1 seconds (p = 0.08); and on the suturing were 286.1, 177.3, and 123.6 seconds (p < 0.05) for novice, intermediate, and expert groups, respectively. When past laparoscopic numbers of participants were compared with TCTs, a positive correlation of R2 = 0.39 was seen, signifying a relationship between number of laparoscopic cases and TCT outcomes. Conclusion Performance on the EDGE simulator device during the BLUS modules significantly correlated with the amount of laparoscopic experience. Increase in the years of experience and number of laparoscopic cases led to faster and more accurate TCTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-968
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • education
  • laparoscopy
  • simulator
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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