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Surg Endosc. 1996 Aug;10(8):816-9.

The use of a modular skills center for the maintenance of laparoscopic skills.

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Endocare, The Minimal Access Endoscopy Program, Midway Hospital Medical Center, 5901 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA.



A reliable method supplying graduated experience and practice is needed to develop and refine laparoscopic skills. The laparoscopic surgeon, like the microvascular surgeon, must have ongoing training to refine and maintain his or her skills.


The authors describe a new modular training unit. The unit consists of a box with a built-in television camera, a light source, and a rotating platform. A videotape recorder with a timing device documents the actual "operating time" required for the various exercises. The first phase of training consists of a basic skills board. This initial phase enhances the use of dominant and nondominant hand motor activity.


The surgeon then progresses to lifelike models (biliary, suturing, hernia, gynecologic) to simulate the human operative setting. Ten surgeons spent 5 h each working with the module. The specific exercises were recorded and timed. Their progress is described.


The modular laparoscopic skills center is an integral part of any laparoscopic educational program. It facilitates the acquisition and maintenance of laparoscopic skills.

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