iMedSim|Virtual Basic Laparoscopic Skills Trainer



Laparoscopic training has become an important part of the simulation-based curriculum at most institutions. The Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) skill training toolbox, based on the McGill Inanimate System for Training and Evaluation of Laparoscopic Skills (MISTELS), has been adopted by the Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) as the standard to assess the proficiency of the laparoscopic skills. Starting 2009, it is also part of the board certification procedure. Though the physical trainer is inexpensive, it is limited in the range of measures of objective evaluation. Moreover the scores are not reported immediately and are open to subjective interpretation.Finally, test takes must travel to one of 27 regional test sites or to the ACS Clinical Congress or Annual SAGES meeting to take the FLS test.

To overcome these probles, we are developing virtual versions of the FLS or a Virtual Basic Laparoscopic Skill Trainer (VBLaST). The VBLaST has custom made interface with instrumented tools connected to two PHANToM Omni's for force feedback. Currently the VBLaST features four of the FLS tasks namely:

  • Peg Transfer
  • Pattern Cutting
  • Ligation Loop
  • Introcorporeal Suture

Preliminary validation studies conducted in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA showed that VBLaST was able to differentiate between novice and expert groups.

Sponsors : NIH/NIBIB R01EB9362

Investigators :

Suvranu De, DSc.