eXpert Laparoscopic Trainer
The eXpert Laparoscopic Trainer is a task trainer station that includes an introductory board, several anatomic models, and a camera for training in laparoscopic surgery skills. Trainees begin on the introductory board. Stations such as threading a pipe cleaner through a tube and passing pompoms through hoops demonstrate basic skills which will be incorporated into many real surgical procedures. Once the trainees are comfortable in the laparoscopic environment, the introductory board is removed and various surgical anatomic models are placed in the trainer, each of which will be used to teach operating techniques or full length procedures.
Examples of skills taught on the introductory board:
- Station 1: place beads on colored pegs to form an "x" and "o"
Teaches: learn how to operate the equipment and camera in an environment without depth perception
- Station 5: thread a pipe cleaner through a narrow hollow plastic tube
- Station 7: pass small pompoms through hoops from one hand to another
Teaches: passing suture from hand to hand behind or around an object
Other stations that are available through the company:
- Suturing model (includes stomach, liver, small intestine)
- Gall stone removal
- Hernia repair
Residents practice skills such as the cobra rope, a piece of white string with short red areas marked at regular intervals. The resident must move down the string, passing the string from one hand to the other with their instruments, without touching the white portions. This drill represents moving hand over hand down an object to reach the desired section of tissue, such as a piece of intestine.
Another skill is known as the terrible triangles. A wooden triangle with a small metal ring on top is placed by hand within a circle at one end of the trainer by an "assistant". The trainee must use the laparoscopic instrument to move the triangle from the target circle to a second target circle at the other end of the training box, which is not immediately visible. The trainee is responsible for operating the camera as well. As the triangle is being moved, the assistant places another triangle within the first target box. The resident will be timed to see how long it takes to transfer a specified number of triangles from one target circle to another. The skill being taught is how to go to a second visual area of interest during an operation, and being able to return to the first area accurately and consistently.