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    Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair (LHHR) is a complex operation requiring advanced surgical training. Surgical simulation offers a potential solution for learning complex operations without the need for high surgical volume. Our goal is to develop a virtual reality (VR) simulator for LHHR; however, data supporting task-specific metrics for this procedure are lacking. The purpose of this study was to develop and assess validity and reliability evidence of task-specific metrics for the fundoplication phase of LHHR. In phase I, structured interviews with expert foregut surgeons were conducted to develop task-specific metrics (TSM). In phase II, participants with varying levels of surgical expertise performed a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication procedure on a porcine stomach explant. Video recordings were independently assessed by two blinded graders using global and TSM. An intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to assess interrater reliability (IRR). Performance scores were compared using a Kruskal-Wallis test. Spearman's rank correlation was used to evaluate the association between global and TSM. Phase I of the study consisted of 12 interviews with expert foregut surgeons. Phase II engaged 31 surgery residents, a fellow, and 6 attendings in the simulation. Phase II results showed high IRR for both global (ICC = 0.84, p < 0.001) and TSM (ICC = 0.75, p < 0.001). Significant between-group differences were detected for both global (χ2 = 24.01, p < 0.001) and TSM (χ2 = 18.4, p < 0.001). Post hoc analysis showed significant differences in performance between the three groups for both metrics (p < 0.05). There was a strong positive correlation between the global and TSM (rs = 0.86, p < 0.001). We developed task-specific metrics for LHHR and using a fundoplication model, we documented significant reliability and validity evidence. We anticipate that these LHHR task-specific metrics will be useful in our planned VR simulator. © 2024. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


    Alexis Desir, Carolina Marques, Emile Farah, Shruti R Hegde, Carla Holcomb, Daniel J Scott, Ganesh Sankaranarayanan. Validity and reliability evidence support task-specific metrics for laparoscopic fundoplication. Surgical endoscopy. 2024 Apr;38(4):2219-2230

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    PMID: 38383688

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