The effect of robotic assistance on learning curves for basic laparoscopic skills

Sunil M. Prasad, Hersh S. Maniar, Nathaniel J. Soper, Ralph J. Damiano, Mary E. Klingensmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Background: We hypothesized that laparoscopic tasks performed with ZEUS robotic assistance would be done with greater precision and with a different learning curve than when performed in a standard laparoscopic trainer. Methods: Participants were divided into the surgically experienced (n = 11) and the surgically naive (n = 17). Two laparoscopic tasks (bead transfer and rope pass) were repeated for five repetitions. Results: For all drills and participants, completion time and error rate decreased across the five repetitions for each platform. Precision averaged 97% for both platforms over all drills. For both groups, completion time for tasks was shorter on the laparoscopic platform. ZEUS allowed for greater consistency in performance. Conclusions: Compared with performance on a standard laparoscopic trainer, robotic assistance allows for increasing speed and consistency while maintaining precision over multiple repetitions. Understanding how robotics affects learning curves will allow for modifications in the training experience with this new technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-707
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-assisted surgery
  • Laparoscopy
  • Learning curves
  • Robotic surgery
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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