Objective Training for the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) skills test can be expensive. Previous work demonstrated that training on an ergonomically different, low-cost platform does not affect FLS skills test outcomes. This study compares the average training cost with standard FLS equipment and medical-grade consumables versus training on a lower cost platform with non–medical-grade consumables. Design Subjects were prospectively randomized to either the standard FLS training platform (n = 19) with medical-grade consumables (S-FLS), or the low-cost platform (n = 20) with training-grade products (LC-FLS). Both groups trained to proficiency using previously established mastery learning standards on the 5 FLS tasks. The fixed and consumable cost differences were compared. Setting Training occurred in a surgical simulation center. Participants Laparoscopic novice medical student and resident physician health care professionals who had not completed the national FLS proficiency curriculum and who had performed less than 10 laparoscopic cases. Results The fixed cost of the platform was considerably higher in the S-FLS group (S-FLS, $3360; LC-FLS, $879), and the average consumable training cost was significantly higher for the S-FLS group (S-FLS, $1384.52; LC-FLS, $153.79; p < 0.001). The LC-FLS group had a statistically discernable cost reduction for each consumable (Gauze $9.24 vs. $0.39, p = 0.002; EndoLoop $540.00 vs. $40.60, p < 0.001; extracorporeal suture $216.45 vs. $25.20, p < 0.001; intracorporeal suture $618.83 vs. $87.60, p < 0.001). The annual fixed and consumable cost to train 5 residents is $10,282.60 in the S-FLS group versus $1647.95 in the LC-FLS group. Conclusions This study shows that the average cost to train a single trainee to proficiency using a lower fixed-cost platform and non–medical-grade equipment results in significant financial savings. A 5-resident program will save approximately $8500 annually. Residency programs should consider adopting this strategy to reduce the cost of FLS training.
- cost analysis
- fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery
- mastery learning
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
- proficiency-based curriculum
- simulation training