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J Surg Educ. 2013 Jan-Feb;70(1):161-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2012.08.008.

Tablet based simulation provides a new solution to accessing laparoscopic skills training.

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  • 1Medical Research Council (MRC) Center for Transplantation, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Guy's Hospital, King's College London, King's Health Partners, London, United Kingdom.



Access to facilities that allow trainees to develop their laparoscopic skills is very limited in the hospital environment and courses can be very expensive. We set out to build an inexpensive yet effective trainer to allow laparoscopic skill acquisition in the home or classroom environment based on using a tablet as a replacement for the laparoscopic stack and camera.


The cavity in which to train was made from a cardboard box; we left the sides and back open to allow for natural light to fill the cavity. An iPad 2 (Apple Inc.) was placed over the box to act as our camera and monitor. We provided 10 experienced laparoscopic surgeons with the task of passing a suture needle through 3 hoops; then they filled in a questionnaire to assess Face (training capacity) and Content (performance) validity.


On a 5-point Likert scale, the tablet-based laparoscopic trainer scored a mean 4.2 for training capacity (hand eye coordination, development, and maintenance of lap skills) and for performance (graphics, video, and lighting quality) it scored a mean 4.1.


The iPad 2-based laparoscopic trainer was successfully validated for training. It allows students and trainees to practice at their own pace and for inexpensive training on the go. Future "app-"based skills are planned.

Copyright © 2013 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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