Laparoscopic trainers have gained recognition for improving laparoscopic surgery skills and preparing for operations on humans. Unfortunately, due to their high price, commercial simulators are hard to obtain, especially for young surgeons in small medical centers. The solution might be for them to construct a device by themselves.
To make a relatively cheap and easy to construct laparoscopic trainer for residents who wish to develop their skills at home.
Material and methods
Two laparoscopic simulators were designed and constructed: 1) a box model with an optical system based on two parallel mirrors, 2) a box model with an HD webcam, a light source consisting of LED diodes placed on a camera casing, and a modeling servo between the webcam and aluminum pipe to allow electronic adjustment of the optical axis.
The two self-constructed simulators were found to be effective training devices, the total cost of parts for each not exceeding $100. Advice is also given for future constructors.
Home made trainers are accessible to any personal budget and can be constructed with a minimum of practical skill. They allow more frequent practice at home, outside the venue and hours of surgical departments. What is more, home made trainers have been shown to be comparable to commercial trainers in facilitating the acquisition of basic laparoscopic skills.