A systematic review of low-cost laparoscopic simulators

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Title: A systematic review of low-cost laparoscopic simulators
Authors: Li, MM
George, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background Opportunities for surgical skills practice using high-fidelity simulation in the workplace are limited due to cost, time and geographical constraints, and accessibility to junior trainees. An alternative is needed to practise laparoscopic skills at home. Our objective was to undertake a systematic review of low-cost laparoscopic simulators. Method A systematic review was undertaken according to PRISMA guidelines. MEDLINE/EMBASE was searched for articles between 1990 and 2014. We included articles describing portable and low-cost laparoscopic simulators that were ready-made or suitable for assembly; articles not in English, with inadequate descriptions of the simulator, and costs >£1500 were excluded. Validation, equipment needed, cost, and ease of assembly were examined. Results Seventy-three unique simulators were identified (60 non-commercial, 13 commercial); 55 % (33) of non-commercial trainers were subject to at least one type of validation compared with 92 % (12) of commercial trainers. Commercial simulators had better face validation compared with non-commercial. The cost ranged from £3 to £216 for non-commercial and £60 to £1007 for commercial simulators. Key components of simulator construction were identified as abdominal cavity and wall, port site, light source, visualisation, and camera monitor. Laptop computers were prerequisite where direct vision was not used. Non-commercial models commonly utilised retail off-the-shelf components, which allowed reduction in costs and greater ease of construction. Conclusion The models described provide simple and affordable options for self-assembly, although a significant proportion have not been subject to any validation. Portable simulators may be the most equitable solution to allow regular basic skills practice (e.g. suturing, knot-tying) for junior surgical trainees.
Issue Date: 18-May-2016
Date of Acceptance: 18-Apr-2016
ISSN: 0930-2794
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Start Page: 38
End Page: 48
Journal / Book Title: Surgical Endoscopy
Volume: 31
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
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