A simulator for laparoscopic surgery
The do it yourself guide for any surgeon in the making
- By: Dermot Mallon, Andrew Stewart
Many students and junior doctors want to become surgeons. But do they have the right technical skills? How would they fare during a laparoscopic procedure. Designing, building, and piloting a laparoscopy simulator training box is easy and cheap. You can produce a worthwhile surrogate for laparoscopic surgery for less than £100 (€115; $160).
Four primary challenges differentiate laparoscopic surgery from open surgery. For the simulator to be effective its design must reproduce the real life obstacles1: limited depth perception on a monitor, the fulcrum effect (access ports for the laparoscopic instruments act as a pivot—when the operator moves to the right the instrument will move to the left), reduced tactile feedback, and amplification of the surgeon’s movements. The following design for a video trainer has these obstacles in mind.
The plywood box has an open end to allow ambient light to enter. The box has five ports—two on top and