The effect of videogame “warm-up” on performance of LS surgery tasks

Introduction: “Warming up” before performing a skill can lead to early and sustained excellence. Performing procedures in the laparoscopic arena requires special training to perform at a superior level. Our previous studies suggest that videogame play is associated with superior laparoscopic performance (1), so we investigated whether surgeons benefited from practicing video games immediately before performing laparoscopic surgical tasks.
Methods: Participants were split into a control (n=180) and experimental group (n=123), similar in years of experience, surgeries performed, and pretest measure of suturing skill. The experimental group played video games for thirty minutes on home video game consoles. Then, all subjects were enrolled in the “Rosser Top Gun Course,” which uses preparatory drills and a structured algorithm to teach intracorporeal suturing, and performances were based on each participant’s speed and accuracy in laparoscopic drills.
Results: Surgeons who played video games prior to the Cobra Rope drill (in which laparoscopic tools are moved along a piece of string, clamping it at marked intervals) were significantly faster on their first attempt (t = 2.17, p < .05) and across all 10 trials (t = 2.28, p < .05).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that subjects completing a “warm-up” session with video games prior to performing laparoscopic tasks were faster than those not engaging in “warm-up.” This study augments our previous research suggesting that videogames could serve as a cost-effective training platform when used as a preparatory exercise for minimally invasive surgical procedures.

1) Rosser et al (2007) The Impact of Video Games on Training Surgeons in the 21st Century. Archives of Surgery;142:181-186.

Session: Podium Presentation

Program Number: S018

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