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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 104-108

Ex-vivo training model for laparoendoscopic single-site surgery

Department of Urology, University Hospital North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Sashi S Kommu
Urology Centre, Guy's Hospital, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Great Maze Pond, Southwark, London' SE1 9RT
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.72398

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Background: Laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) has recently been applied successfully in the performance of a host of surgical procedures. Preliminary consensus from the experts is that this mode of surgery is technically challenging and requires expertise. The transition from trainee to practicing surgeon, especially in complex procedures with challenging learning curves, takes time and mentor-guided nurturing. However, the trainee needs to use platforms of training to gain the skills that are deemed necessary for undertaking the live human case. Objective: This article aims to demonstrate a step-by-step means of how to acquire the necessary instrumentation and build a training model for practicing steeplechase exercises in LESS for urological surgeons and trainees. The tool built as a result of this could set the platform for performance of basic and advanced skills uptake using conventional, bent and articulated instruments. A preliminary construct validity of the platform was conducted. Materials and Methods: A box model was fitted with an R-Port and camera. Articulated and conventional instruments were used to demonstrate basic exercises (e.g. glove pattern cutting, loop stacking and suturing) and advanced exercises (e.g. pyeloplasty). The validation included medical students (M), final year laparoscopic fellows (F) and experienced consultant laparoscopic surgeons (C) with at least 50 LESS cases experience in total, were tested on eight basic skill tasks (S) including manipulation of the flexible cystoscope (S1), hand eye coordination (S2), cutting with flexible scissors (S3), grasping with flexible needle holders (S4), two-handed maneuvers (S5), object translocation (S6), cross hand suturing with flexible instruments (S7) and conduction of an ex-vivo pyeloplasty. Results: The successful application of the box model was demonstrated by trainee based exercises. The cost of the kit with circulated materials was less than £150 (Pounds Sterling). The noncamera handling skills (S2-S8) of the ex-vivo training model for LESS can distinguish between laparoscopically naοve fellows and experienced consultants in LESS. S4-S8 showed the highest level of construct validity, by accurately differentiating among the M, F and C groups. Conclusion: LESS requires a significant amount of skill and has an inherent steep learning curve. The ex-vivo model described provides a cost-effective means that a trainee or training unit can build for optimising preliminary skill acquisition in LESS for urological trainees. It has construct validity in several tasks. Such platform models should be tested further with an emphasis on rapid sequence uptake of optimal skills, prior to undertaking the live human case.


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