A Novel Do-It-Yourself Approach to Simulating Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery.

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In 2008, the American Board of Surgery required residents to pass a laparoscopic fundamentals examination to sit for the boards. As such, minimally invasive surgery became the newest addition as a requisite skill for surgical trainees. To assist in preparing trainees for future surgery, simulation devices have been integrated into training programs to develop proficiency with laparoscopic and arthroscopic techniques. While effective, one of the biggest obstacles to accessing these devices is the thousands of dollars required for the equipment. Many commercial and do-it-yourself (DIY) iterations of low-cost, portable, laparoscopic simulators have been described to address this. While the price point ranges from 300 to 400 dollars, these DIY simulators primarily utilize webcams, iPhones, and tablet cameras in a fixed position. This presents an inherent limitation in the simulator's accuracy as current laparoscopy surgery utilizes camera motion. This study presents a novel DIY simulator that portrays a more realistic view of the operative field using camera motion and positioning, costing approximately 200 dollars. This proposed simulator uses a Universal Serial Bus (USB) endoscope with interchangeable side mirrors. We inserted an endoscope with built-in light-emitting diode (LED) lights into a seamless stainless tube for the laparoscope and attached it to a computer for configuration. To simulate the abdominal cavity, holes were drilled into a ½ torso hollow mannequin at the standard port locations for laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and rubber grommets were inserted into the drilled holes. Trocars were constructed using cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and #8 rubber stoppers. By creating a more affordable and easily constructed model, acquiring laparoscopic skills is more accessible. Simulators are becoming an essential part of medical training. Affordable simulators like ours allow trainees to develop their laparoscopic skill set at their own pace and convenience. More research into this can potentially lead to increased exposure to more accurate simulators and facilitate more accessible training for performing minimally invasive surgery in any surgical specialty.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Fellows and Residents

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