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South African Journal of Surgery

versión On-line ISSN 2078-5151
versión impresa ISSN 0038-2361


NAIDOO, M; KONG, VY; CLARKE, DL  y  CONRADIE, B. Experience and perceptions of laparoscopic appendectomy amongst surgical trainees in South Africa. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2022, vol.60, n.4, pp.300-304. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: This study is a survey amongst surgical trainees in South Africa (SA) designed to document their exposure to laparoscopic appendicectomy (LA) and their perceptions about the procedure and to identify possible barriers to its uptake. METHODS: A structured survey was developed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative questions designed to determine the clinical exposure of surgical trainees to laparoscopic appendectomy and then probe possible factors limiting their access to the procedure. A questionnaire was created online, and a link was distributed to various surgical trainees in Southern Africa. A list of trainees was obtained from the Surgreg Training Association of South Africa (STA). RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-two (47%) trainees completed the survey out of an estimated 280 general surgery registrars. Ninety-five (72%) were male and 37 (28%) were female respondents. Their median age was 31 years (25-36). There were 14 (11%) year-1 and 21 (16%) year-2, 32 (24%) year-3, 37 (28%) year-4 and 28 (21%) year-5 trainees. The breakdown according to region was area 1 (inland and central) 47 (36%), area 2 (western seaboard) 12 (9%) and area 3 (eastern seaboard) 73 (55%). Forty-three (33%) respondents experienced face-to-face teaching on how to perform a LA. Forty-two (32%) had exposure to laparoscopic simulators. Respondents reported a general lack of experience in performing this procedure. Sixty-nine (52%) had performed this procedure without a senior (i.e., solo) and 13 (10%) had only assisted a senior to perform this procedure. Seventy-four (56%) respondents felt confident performing a LA independently. One hundred and thirteen (86%) respondents expected to be taught this procedure. One hundred and five respondents (80%) were keen to learn to perform LA. One hundred and five respondents (80%) stated that they would be interested in attending an online course on LA. The respondents felt that the following were the significant barriers to performing LA: resource constraints 49 (37%) and time constraints 46 (35%). Thirty per cent of respondents (22) in area 3 reported a reluctance by seniors to teach the procedure. CONCLUSION: There appears to be a lack of exposure to and confidence with LA amongst South African surgical trainees. This implies a deficiency in formal surgical training programmes. Addressing this deficiency will require innovative solutions.

Palabras clave : appendectomy; appendicitis; complications; surgery; epidemiology.

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