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Surgical Anatomy of Vaginal Hysterectomy—Impact of a Resident-Constructed Simulation Model

Anand, Mallika, MD, MS*; Duffy, Conor, P., MPH; Vragovic, Olivera, MBA; Abbasi, Wafaa, BA§; Bell, Shannon, L., MD‡∥

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: March/April 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 2 - p 176–182
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000545
AUGS Conference Submissions

Objectives Obstetrics and gynecology residents are less prepared to perform vaginal hysterectomy (VH), despite its advantages over other hysterectomy routes. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology have prioritized simulation training in VH. Our objective was to improve residents’ understanding of surgical anatomy of VH using a resident-constructed, low-cost, low-fidelity model.

Methods A single simulation session was held in November 2016. Residents constructed a pelvic model, guided by 2 surgeons. A pretest and a posttest were administered. Experienced-based responses were tabulated for frequencies and contents. Improvement on knowledge-based questions was assessed using McNemar’s test.

Results Of 20 residents, 16 completed the pretest and 14 (70%) completed pretests and posttests. One hundred percent of postgraduate year (PGY)-4 had performed greater than 10 VH (11–21) and 75% of PGY-3 had performed 5 to 12 VH. Although 75% of PGY-3 and 100% of PGY-4 felt comfortable performing VH, baseline knowledge of essential surgical anatomy of VH was low (65.8%). The PGY-3 and -4 group (n=8) experienced a mean improvement of 24.4% (mean pretest score 65.8% vs mean posttest score 90%; 95% confidence interval, +14.1% to +33.3%, P=0.0005). The PGY-1 and -2 groups (n=6) experienced a mean improvement of 43.3% (mean pretest score, 41.7% vs mean posttest score, 85%; 95% confidence interval, +26.7% to +59.2%, P=0.001). After the session, all residents reported improved understanding surgical anatomy of VH and “more hands-on sessions” was the most frequently requested teaching aid.

Conclusions Residents desire additional model-based simulation training in VH, and such structured, model-based simulations can identify and address gaps in resident knowledge of surgical anatomy of this important operation.

This resident-constructed vaginal hysterectomy simulation model significantly improved the obstetrics and gynecology residents’ surgical anatomic knowledge.

From the *Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University School of Medicine; †Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Medical Center; ‡Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University School of Medicine; §Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Medical Center; and ∥Solomont Center for Clinical Simulation and Nursing Education, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Correspondence: Mallika Anand, MD, MS, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University School of Medicine, 85 East Concord St., 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

This article is an expansion on an AUGS 2017 conference poster of the same title.

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