Conception of the Lübeck Toolbox curriculum for basic minimally invasive surgery skills

Tilman Laubert*, Hamed Esnaashari, Paul Auerswald, Anna Höfer, Michael Thomaschewski, Hans Peter Bruch, Tobias Keck, Claudia Benecke

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Difficulties at the beginning of the learning curve in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) can well be overcome by simulation outside the operating room. Despite a great number of available devices, standardized, structured, and validated training curricula for video simulators are scarce. Methods: The Lübeck Toolbox (LTB) video trainer provides six training modules and online video tutorials. Proficiency levels for the tasks were defined by performance analysis of MIS experts (n = 15). Mean values of the best performed repetitions were set as benchmarks for a validation study with n = 30 MIS novices and the learning curves calculated. The novices performed a cholecystectomy on a pig organ model before and after the curriculum which were analyzed using the GOALS score. Results: Benchmarks defined by expert performance for the task Nos. 1 to 6 were 72 s (± 8) (Pack Your Luggage), 49 s (± 9) (Weaving), 66 s (± 10) (Chinese Jump Rope), 89 s (± 28) (Triangle Cut), 138 s (± 44) (Hammer Cut), and 98 (± 22) (Suturing). The median numbers of required repetitions by the novices to reach the proficiency level were n = 42 (7–80), n = 26 (9–55), n = 32 (14–77), n = 44 (15–59), n = 19 (6–68), and n = 26 (15–60). These values were all located at the beginning of the plateau phase of the learning curves. GOALS score improved significantly after completion of the curriculum (18.0 (± 2.6) vs. 10.9 (± 1.6), p < 0.0001). Conclusion: The LTB curriculum constitutes a new highly standardized and proficiency level-based training program for basic skills in MIS. Transferability of the task content to a (sub)-realistic environment could be demonstrated. Still, future trials will have to further validate the effectiveness of the LTB curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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