Robotic cholecystectomy and resident education: The UC Davis experience

Eric C. Nelson, Andrea H. Gottlieb, Hans Georg Müller, William Smith, Mohamed R Ali, Tamas J Vidovszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction: The popularity of robotic surgery highlights the need for strategies to integrate this technique into surgical education. We present 5 year data for robotic cholecystectomy (RC) as a model for training residents. Methods: Data were collected on all RC over 66 months. Duration for docking the robot (S2) and performing RC (S3), and surgical outcomes, were recorded. We used a linear mixed effects model to investigate learning curves. Results: Thirty-eight trainees performed 160 RCs, with most performing more than four. One case was aborted due to haemodynamic instability, and two were converted to open surgery due to adhesions. There were no technical complications. The duration of S2 (mean = 6.2 ± 3.6 min) decreased considerably (p = 0.027). Trainees also demonstrated decrease in duration of S3 (mean = 38.4 ± 15.4 min), indicating improvement in technique (p = 0.008). Conclusions: RC is an effective model for teaching residents. Significant and reproducible improvement can be realized with low risk of adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cholecystectomy
  • Da Vinci
  • Laparoscopy
  • Learning curve
  • Robotic surgery
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Biophysics
  • Surgery


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