Purpose: The Endoscopic Surgical Skill Quantification System for qualified surgeons (QSs) was introduced in Japan to improve surgical outcomes. This study reviewed the surgical outcomes after initial experience performing laparoscopic distal gastrectomy (LDG) and evaluated the improvement in surgical outcomes following accreditation as a QS. Methods: Eighty-seven consecutive patients who underwent LDG for gastric cancer by a single surgeon were enrolled in this study. The cumulative sum method was used to analyze the learning curve for LDG. The surgical outcomes were evaluated according to the two phases of the learning curve (learning period vs. mastery period) and accreditation (non-QS period vs. QS period). Results: The learning period for LDG was 48 cases. Accreditation was approved at the 67th case. The operation time and estimated blood loss were significantly reduced in the QS period compared to the non-QS period (230 vs. 270 min, p < 0.001; 20.5 vs. 59.8 ml, p = 0.024, respectively). Furthermore, the major complication rate was significantly lower in the QS period than in the non-QS period (0 vs. 10.6%, p = 0.044). Conclusions: Experience performing approximately 50 cases is required to reach proficiency in LDG. After receiving accreditation as a QS, the surgical outcomes, including the complication rate, were improved.
- Cumulative sum analysis
- Endoscopic surgical skill quantification system
- Gastric cancer
- Laparoscopic distal gastrectomy
- Qualified surgeon
ASJC Scopus subject areas