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Comparison of the ability of veterinary medical students to perform laparoscopic versus conventional open ovariectomy on live dogs

Ohad Levi DVM1, Philip H. Kass DVM, MPVM, PhD2, Lyon Y. Lee DVM, PhD3, Valerie M. Cantrell DVM4, David E. Clark DVM5, and Dominique J. Griffon DVM, PhD6
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  • 1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766.
  • | 2 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766.
  • | 4 College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766.
  • | 5 College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766.
  • | 6 College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the feasibility of training veterinary medicine students to perform laparoscopic versus conventional open ovariectomy in live dogs.

Design—Randomized prospective parallel-group experiment.

Population—25 students completing the second year of their veterinary curriculum.

Procedures—Students were randomly assigned to 2 groups to receive 14 hours of specific training in either open ovariectomy (n = 13) or laparoscopic ovariectomy (12). Confidence, basic surgical skills, and basic laparoscopic skills were evaluated before and after training, prior to live surgical procedures.

Results—Scores related to basic surgical skills were high in both groups and did not improve with either training program. Before live animal surgeries, student confidence and basic laparoscopic skills improved after training in laparoscopic ovariectomy and were higher than after training in open ovariectomy. Surgery time was higher for the students who received training in laparoscopic ovariectomy (129 minutes; range, 84 to 143 minutes), compared with students who received training in open ovariectomy (80 minutes; range, 62 to 117 minutes). On a 55-point scoring system, ovariectomy scores were similar between students who received training in open ovariectomy (34.5; range, 16.5 to 45) and students who received training in laparoscopic ovariectomy (34.5; range, 25 to 44.5).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The training programs were effective in improving student confidence and skills in laparoscopic ovariectomy. Results of this study suggested that veterinary medical students, with assistance from an instructor, may be taught to perform laparoscopic ovariectomies with performance equivalent to that for students performing open ovariectomies.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the feasibility of training veterinary medicine students to perform laparoscopic versus conventional open ovariectomy in live dogs.

Design—Randomized prospective parallel-group experiment.

Population—25 students completing the second year of their veterinary curriculum.

Procedures—Students were randomly assigned to 2 groups to receive 14 hours of specific training in either open ovariectomy (n = 13) or laparoscopic ovariectomy (12). Confidence, basic surgical skills, and basic laparoscopic skills were evaluated before and after training, prior to live surgical procedures.

Results—Scores related to basic surgical skills were high in both groups and did not improve with either training program. Before live animal surgeries, student confidence and basic laparoscopic skills improved after training in laparoscopic ovariectomy and were higher than after training in open ovariectomy. Surgery time was higher for the students who received training in laparoscopic ovariectomy (129 minutes; range, 84 to 143 minutes), compared with students who received training in open ovariectomy (80 minutes; range, 62 to 117 minutes). On a 55-point scoring system, ovariectomy scores were similar between students who received training in open ovariectomy (34.5; range, 16.5 to 45) and students who received training in laparoscopic ovariectomy (34.5; range, 25 to 44.5).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The training programs were effective in improving student confidence and skills in laparoscopic ovariectomy. Results of this study suggested that veterinary medical students, with assistance from an instructor, may be taught to perform laparoscopic ovariectomies with performance equivalent to that for students performing open ovariectomies.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Cantrell's present address is Balboa Pet Hospital, 3329 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121.

Supported by the Research Programs of the Western University of Health Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences.

Presented in abstract form at the 2013 Summer Conference—Teaching Academy, Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Corvallis, Ore, July 2013; and at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Surgery Summit, San Diego, October 2014.

The authors declare that there were no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to Dr. Levi (olevi@westernu.edu).