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2020 | 92(4) | 23-30
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Learning curve for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass based on the experience of a newly created bariatric center

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Introduction: Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) is one of the most common treatments for morbid obesity. The learning curve for this procedure is 50–75 cases for an independent surgeon, and it is considered the most important factor in decreasing complications and mortality. We present our experience and learning curve with LRYGB for a newly established bariatric center in Poland.
Material and methods: A prospectively collected database containing 285 LRYGB procedures performed in the II Department of General Surgery of the Jagiellonian University MC in Krakow between 06.2010 and 03.2019 was retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into groups of 30 (G1–G10) in the order of the procedures performed by each surgeon. The study analyzed the course of the operation and patient hospitalization, comparing those groups. Learning curve for the newly created bariatric center was established.
Results: Operative time in G1–G3 differed significantly from G4–G10 (P < 0.0001). The stabilization point was the 90th procedure. Perioperative complications were observed in 36 (12.63%) patients. Perioperative complications, intraoperative difficulties and adverse events did not differ importantly among groups. Liberal use of “conversions of the operator” from a surgeon to a senior surgeon provides reasonable safety and prevents complications.
Conclusions: The institutional learning process stabilization point for LRYGB in a newly established bariatric center is around the 90th operation. LRYGB can be a safe procedure from the very beginning in newly established bariatric centers. Specific bariatric training with active proctoring by an experienced surgeon in a bariatric centre can improve the laparoscopic gastric bypass outcome during the learning curve.
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