Development and Transferability of a Cost-effective Laparoscopic Camera Navigation Simulator

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Laparoscopic camera navigation (LCN) is vital for the successful performance of laparoscopic operations, yet little time is spent on training. This study aimed to develop an inexpensive LCN simulator, to design a structured curriculum, and to determine the transferability of skills acquired.


In this study, 0° and 30° LCN simulators were developed for use on a videotrainer platform. Transferability was tested by enrolling 20 medical students in an institutional review board-approved, randomized, controlled, blinded protocol. Subjects viewed a video tutorial and were pretested in LCN on a porcine Nissen model. Procedures were videotaped and the LCN performance was scored by a blinded rater according to the number of standardized verbal cues required and the percentage of time an optimal surgical view (%OSV) was obtained. Procedure time also was recorded. Subjects were stratified and randomized. The trained group practiced on the LCN simulator until competency was demonstrated. The control group received no training. Both groups were posttested on the porcine Nissen model.


The constructed simulators required 35 man hours for development, cost $25 per board for materials, and proved to be durable. The trained group demonstrated significant improvement in verbal cues (p = 0.001), %OSV (p < 0.001), and procedure time (p = 0.001), whereas the control group showed improvement only in verbal cues (p < 0.02). At posttesting, the training group demonstrated significantly better scores for verbal cues (2.1 vs 8.0; p = 0.02) and %OSV (64% vs 45% p = 0.01) than the control group.


These data suggest that the LCN simulator is cost effective and provides trainees with skills that translate to the operating room.



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