Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD): how do Western endoscopists value animal models?
Introduction: Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD)was introduced in the West later than in the East. Our aim was to assess how Western endoscopists performing ESD have been trained and how they value animal models for training. Material and methods: An online survey regarding training in ESD was sent to Western endoscopists who published articles on advanced resection techniques. Results: From 279 endoscopists, 58 (21%) completed the questionnaire, of which 50 confirmed performance of clinical ESD. Endoscopists had a median of 15 years of endoscopic experience (IQR 9.75–20.25) and all of them were performing conventional EMR, before starting ESD. Prior to clinical ESD, 74% (n = 37) underwent training with ex vivo models, 84% (n = 42) with live animal models and 92% (n = 46) with at least, one of the two models. After starting clinical ESD, as trainers, 52% (n = 26) were involved with ex vivo and 60% (n = 30) with live animal models. Personal usefulness of ex vivo and live animal models was rated with a median of 9 (IQR 8–10) and 10 (IQR 8–10), out of 10, respectively. Courses with ex vivo and live animal models were considered a prerequisite before clinical practice by 84% (n = 42) and 78% (n = 39), respectively. Conclusions: Western endoscopists have extensive endoscopic experience before starting ESD. The majority had pre-clinical training with ex vivo and live animal models and more than half are acting as trainers of other endoscopists with these models. Animal models are considered very useful and deemed a prerequisite before clinical practice by the majority of the endoscopists.