Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1992) vol. 74, 256-257
A cheap laparoscopic surgery trainer
Muntzer Mughal ChM FRCS
Royal Preston Hospital, Preston
Key words: Surgical simulators; Laparoscopic surgery
Laparoscopic surgery is gaining in popularity and excel- scopic cholecystectomy. Squares of thick plastic floor tile
lent results have been reported from many centres for are inserted into the holes and sandwiched between two
laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic surgery identical rectangles of Perspex with matching 3 cm
requires the acquisition of new skills such as coordinating diameter holes cut to overly the squares. The sandwich is
the movements of instruments whose working tips can held together by four plastic screws which allows replace-
only be seen in two dimensions on a television monitor ment of the tile squares (Fig. 1). Trocars are inserted
screen, the correct use of diathermy and laser dissection through crosses cut into the tile squares as shown in
and the ability to tie sound extracorporeal knots. These Fig. 2.
techniques may be practised using simulators, of which a
variety is available commercially, most of which are
extremely expensive. The device illustrated in the Figs. 1
and 2 was constructed using readily available materials at
a cost of £75 and has been found suitable for practising
the above techniques.
The trainer consists of a plastic storage box with a
3 mm thick Perspex cover to which are attached two
20 W strip lamps (Fig. 1). Four squares (about 4 cm x
4 cm) are cut out of the Perspex cover, positioned
approximately as are the four puncture sites in laparo-
Figure 1. Laparoscopic trainer with the top removed.
Correspondence to: Mr M Mughal, Royal Preston Hospital, Figure 2. Laparoscopic instruments in position through aper-
Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston PR2 4HT tures in the trainer.
A cheap laparoscopic surgery trainer 257
The trainer allows practice at various levels of skill, Perspex top covered up except for the puncture sites.
starting with binocular vision looking through the The Perspex top lifts off to allow the box to be cleaned
Perspex top while carrying out manipulations illumi- without risk of wetting the electrical connections.
nated by the built-in lights, to working with a video
monitor screen using a scope and camera, and with the Received 11 December 1991