Previous reports suggest that structured training in minimally invasive pancreatic surgery (MIPS) can ensure a safe implementation into standard practice. Although some training programs have been constructed, worldwide consensus on fundamental items of these training programs is lacking. This study aimed to determine items for a structured MIPS training program using the Delphi consensus methodology.
The study process consisted of 2 Delphi rounds among international experts in MIPS, identified by a literature review. The study committee developed a list of items for 3 key domains of MIPS training: (1) framework, (2) centers and surgeons eligible for training, and (3) surgeons eligible as proctor. The experts rated these items on a scale from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important). A Cronbach’s α of 0.70 or greater was defined as the cut-off value to achieve consensus. Each item that achieved 80% or greater of expert votes was considered as fundamental for a training program in MIPS.
Both Delphi study rounds were completed by all invited experts in MIPS, with a median experience of 20 years in MIPS. Experts included surgeons from 31 cities in 13 countries across 4 continents. Consensus was reached on 38 fundamental items for the framework of training (16 of 35 items, Cronbach’s α = 0.72), centers and surgeons eligible for training (19 of 30 items, Cronbach’s α = 0.87), and surgeons eligible as proctor (3 of 10 items, Cronbach’s α = 0.89). Center eligibility for MIPS included a minimum annual volume of 10 distal pancreatectomies and 50 pancreatoduodenectomies.
Consensus among worldwide experts in MIPS was reached on fundamental items for the framework of training and criteria for participating surgeons and centers. These items act as a guideline and intend to improve training, proctoring, and safe worldwide dissemination of MIPS.