Practicing Surgeons Enhance Skills with Laparoscopic Surgery Training
What does it take to become a practicing surgeon? Time, persistence, skill, and lots of hard work.
A typical doctor first spends at least twelve years in study following high school, with surgeons
and medical specialists putting in as many as five years on top of that. In college, would-be
surgeons must take Premed tract courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics,
biology, and more; participate in healthcare industry volunteer work; and then pass the MCAT
medical school entrance exam. Four years of graduate school, four years of residency, and up to
three years of fellowship follow. Beyond that, licensed surgeons may develop advanced
techniques for abdominal or pelvic area surgery through minimally invasive or Laparoscopic
While a practicing surgeon may be highly proficient in performing traditional, open procedures,
successful laparoscopic surgery requires a unique set of skills. Instrument positioning and use,
manual dexterity, posture, and spatial awareness must all be reworked. That's where laparoscopic
surgery training comes in.
During this type of training, the surgeon performs a simulated operation with specific
movements and tools, all within the constraints of the small incisions which hallmark a real
laparoscopic procedure. In some simulated procedures, surgical trainees use tools to manipulate
objects within a homemade, unplugged "box" trainer. Virtual reality (VR) trainers are also
available for laparoscopic surgery training: by handling wired but realistic laparoscopic
instruments, trainees are scored on their ability to control virtual objects. In both box and VR
training environments, surgeons are able to refine muscle memory and improve the range of
movement in their hands and arms.
Training also establishes better physical ergonomics in the operating room. While laparoscopic
surgery is great for patients, there's an unfortunate downside for practitioners: inefficient posture
– even posture that brings effective results for patients – puts stress on a surgeon's body.
Laparoscopic surgery training places surgeons in a safe environment from which they're able to
refine methods and develop more comfortable postures. More training leads to less physical
stress and fewer injuries in the surgeon.
From the beginning, laparoscopic surgery has combined patient care with advanced technology.
Successful simple procedures in a patient's limbs or abdomen have led to ever more delicate
chest and head surgeries. In the future, more complicated minimally invasive procedures will
certainly be developed, but Laparoscopic surgery training will be there to make sure practicing
surgeons are ready to continue their education well beyond their residency years and provide
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