Laparoscopic training and practice in gynecologic oncology among Society of Gynecologic Oncologists members and fellows-in-training

Michael Frumovitz, Pedro T. Ramirez, Marilyn Greer, Mary Ann Gregurich, Judith Wolf, Diane C. Bodurka, Charles Levenback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the proportion of Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) members performing laparoscopic procedures and to determine SGO members' and fellows' opinions regarding indications for and the adequacy of training in laparoscopy. Methods. Surveys were mailed to SGO members and fellows-in-training in December 2002. Anonymous responses were collected by mail or through a Web site. The survey was mailed twice and was estimated to take 5 min to complete. The data were analyzed using frequency distributions and nonparametric tests. Results. Three hundred thirty-six SGO members (45%) and fifty-seven fellows (49%) responded. Among SGO members, 272 (84%) currently performed laparoscopic surgeries. Reasons cited for performing laparoscopy were decreased length of hospital stay (74%), improved patient quality of life (57%), patient preference (48%), improved cosmesis (46%), and better visualization (18%). Among those who did not perform laparoscopy, 50% cited increased operating time as their main reason. When asked to indicate the laparoscopic procedure most commonly performed in their practice, 69% reported diagnosis of an adnexal mass; 11%, prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomies; and 10%, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy and lymph node staging for uterine cancer. Only 3% of SGO respondents performed more than 50% of their procedures laparoscopically, and all respondents reported converting from laparoscopy to laparotomy less than 25% of the time. Most respondents had limited laparoscopic training during their fellowships: 39% received none, and 46% received limited (less than five procedures per month) training. Nevertheless, 78% of SGO respondents rated their laparoscopic skills as either very good or good. Among fellows, only 25% believed they were receiving very good or good laparoscopic training. Eighty percent of SGO respondents believe that at least six procedures per month were necessary for adequate training, yet only 33% of fellows performed that many procedures. Conclusions. Most SGO respondents used laparoscopy for selective indications, and most developed their laparoscopic skills after their fellowship training. SGO respondents believed laparoscopic instruction is an important part of training, but most fellows perceived their laparoscopic training as inadequate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-753
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Fellowship
  • Laparoscopy
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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