Surgical coaching applied to laparoscopic TME for continuous professional development in rectal surgery: proof of concept

AIMS Academy clinical research network, I. Montroni, G. Mari, L. Boni, D. Maggioni, J. Crippa, E. Cocozza, G. Ferrari, G. Ugolini, P. Capelli, S. Berti, R. Pugliese, A. Spinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coaching is maturing as a strategy for surgeons’ continuous professional development in different types of surgery. Laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (LAP TME) is one of the recognized difficult procedures in colorectal surgery. Aim of this trial is to introduce the surgical coaching as a tool for a continuous technical education of LAP TME for cancer in a consultant surgeon carrier. Methods: Twelve Italian colorectal surgeons were enrolled as trainees in the AIMS Academy rectal cancer surgical coaching project and attended a face-to-face 90-min surgical coaching on a pre-edited 45-min-long video of a laparoscopic proctectomy according to pre-determined guidelines. At the end of the coaching, all mentors were asked to fill a questionnaire evaluating the trainee’s skills. All trainees had to fill a post-coaching questionnaire addressing the appropriateness of the coaching with respect to their actual level. Results: Trainees were more confident in performing the extra-pelvic part of the surgical procedures compared to the intra-pelvic dissection. The most challenging steps according to the trainees were the seminal vesicles identification and the pelvic floor dissection. Mentors found the trainees quite confident in the approach to the vascular structures, lymphadenectomy, stapler utilization and bleeding control. The sharpness and the efficacy of the dissection, the dissection of the surgical planes and the anastomosis fashioning were reported at a lower level of confidence. The higher grade of satisfaction reported by the trainee came from the attention that the mentors demonstrated towards them, from the availability of the mentors to take into consideration the surgical issues raised and from the willingness to apply the suggestions received during their next proctectomies. Conclusions: The surgical coaching applied to LAP TME should be considered as an innovative tool for continuous professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1805-1810
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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