Tag Archive for: live case demonstration


Article of the month: The surgical spectacle

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

The surgical spectacle: a survey of urologists viewing live case demonstrations

Sammy E. Elsamra, Mathew Fakhoury, Hector Motato, Justin I. Friedlander, Daniel M. Moreira, Joel Hillelsohn, Brian Duty, Zeph Okeke and Arthur D. Smith

The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY, USA


• To evaluate perspectives of urologists viewing live case demonstrations (LCD) and taped case demonstrations (TCD).


• A 15-question anonymous survey was distributed to attendees of the live surgery session at the American Urological Association 2012 national meeting (Atlanta) and the second International Challenges in Endourology meeting (Paris).


• Of 1000 surveys distributed, 253 were returned completed (response rate 25%). Nearly half of respondents were in the academic practice setting and nearly 75% were beyond training.

• Just over 30% had performed a LCD previously. The perceived benefit of an LCD was greater than unedited and edited videos (chi-squared P = 0.014 and P < 0.001, respectively). Nearly no one selected ‘not helpful’ and a few selected ‘minimally helpful’ for any of the three forms of demonstration.

• Most respondents identified that opportunity to ask questions (61%) and having access to the full unedited version (72%), two features inherent to LCD, improved upon the educational benefit of edited videos.

• Most (78%) identified LCD as ethical. However, those that did not perceived lower educational benefit from LCD (P = 0.019).

• A slim majority (58%) would allow themselves or a family member to be a patient of a LCD and the vast majority (86%) plan to transfer knowledge gained at the LCD session into their practice.


• Urologists who attended these LCD sessions identified LCDs as beneficial and applicable to their practice.

• LCDs are preferred over videos. The large majority considers LCD ethical, although not as many would volunteer themselves for LCD.

• Further studies are necessary to determine if there is actual benefit from LCD over TCD to patient care.


Editorial: Do live case demonstrations have a future in surgical education?

The ever increasing desire for instant access to information is a reflection of our times facilitated by social networks and by video and information technology. Nowadays, sport events are dissected and quantified from every possible perspective. We know almost real-time any detail of a soccer match: how many miles each player runs, how many good or bad passages of play, how many faults and so on, including if needed the details of heart rate and weight loss. The same and even more is available for example in formula one racing. Theoretically the same could easily be applied to surgical performance and it is foreseeable it will be applied, as a self-performance improvement method and as a development of one of the most popular ‘scientific and educational’ activities during surgical meetings, live case demonstrations (LCDs). All this, together with simulation, could in the near future have a tremendous impact on surgical performance and training. Twitter and Instagram show the power of the immediate real-time diffusion of events, as condensed as possible, so that the tweet or the instantaneous image can be visible and digested without losing time. Video clips follow the same concept and certainly BJUI is pioneering the use of short surgical video clips that are easily accessible and usable at any spare time of a busy day.

The core issue about LCDs is that at present there is no solid scientific evidence of their educational value, and this is outlined in the paper by Elsamra et al. [1] published in this issue of BJUI, which commendably attempts to evaluate the educational benefit of LCDs in terms of perception, clearly not a very strong criterion.

Data about the outcomes of live surgery operations are scant. Clearly patient’s safety is the first goal of any surgical activity, and this applies to LCDs. As mentioned in the paper, the European Association of Urology (EAU) Executive felt the urgent need to establish procedures and regulations in order to endorse live surgery events. The reader can find all related information on the EAU website. These regulations are meant to be in the best interest of patients, surgeons and organisers. Among others, one important innovation is the requisite of a ‘patient advocate’ present during the LCD, being an experienced medical doctor, independent from the organising committee of the educational event, in charge of advising in case of unexpected events, which can endanger patient’s safety.

Moreover, the EAU has established a prospective database of all endorsed live surgery events. This will hopefully allow in a few years an answer, with solid data, to the question of whether an intervention performed during a live surgery event has the same outcome compared with the same intervention executed by the same surgeon in his usual environment. The more challenging goal is to quantify the educational value of a live surgical event and the jump from perception to scientific evidence is far from being an easy task.

Walter Artibani
Urologia – Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Integrata di Verona, Verona, Italy


  1. Elsamra SE, Fakhoury M, Motato H et al. The surgical spectacle: a survey of urologists viewing live case demonstrationsBJU Int 2014; 113: 674–678
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