Criticism of learning curve in laparoscopic adrenalectomy: a systematic review
Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) has become the treatment of choice for benign adrenal lesions. Lateral Transperitoneal Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy (LTLA) is considered the gold standard. The number of LTLAs a surgeon must perform, in order to complete his learning curve, is not well defined in Literature. Moreover, the few papers dealing with the learning curve for LTLAs show controversial results and consider different evaluation parameters.
The systematic review has been carried out according to PRISMA statement. The literature search included PubMed and Scopus database. Hand searching of reference lists of previous review articles and relevant studies was also performed. The search string was “learning curve AND laparoscopic adrenalectomy”.
A total of 9 papers met the inclusion criteria out of 94 non duplicate citations. The aim of this systematic review is to provide a multidimensional evaluation by bringing into focus evaluation parameters of surgical performance, (operative time, intraoperative complications, conversion rate and blood loss), factors related to patient’s pathology (side, size, adrenal pathology) and surgeon-specific properties.
Operative time, intraoperative bleeding, intraoperative complications and conversion rate are the main parameters that have been considered for the achievement of learning curve, and for each there are discrepancies, mainly due to the relative rarity of adrenal tumors, and so for difficulties in obtaining approper analysis that could establish an effective learning curve. So, further evaluations in larger experience are needed