Narayanan SK, Cohen RC, and Shun A. Technical tips and advancements in pediatric minimally invasive surgical training on porcine based simulations. Pediatr Surg Int.2014 Jun;30(6):655-61.Epub 2014 Apr 20.

PMID: 24748108


Minimal access techniques have transformed the way pediatric surgery is practiced. Due to various constraints, surgical residency programs have not been able to tutor adequate training skills in the routine setting. The advent of new technology and methods in minimally invasive surgery (MIS), has similarly contributed to the need for systematic skills' training in a safe, simulated environment. To enable the training of the proper technique among pediatric surgery trainees, we have advanced a porcine non-survival model for endoscopic surgery.

The technical advancements over the past 3 years and a subjective validation of the porcine model from 114 participating trainees using a standard questionnaire and a 5-point Likert scale have been described here. Mean attitude scores and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for statistical analysis of the data.

Almost all trainees agreed or strongly agreed that the animal-based model was appropriate (98.35%) and also acknowledged that such workshops provided adequate practical experience before attempting on human subjects (96.6%). Mean attitude score for respondents was 19.08 (SD 3.4, range 4-20). Attitude scores showed no statistical association with years of experience or the level of seniority, indicating a positive attitude among all groups of respondents.

Structured porcine-based MIS training should be an integral part of skill acquisition for pediatric surgery trainees and the experience gained can be transferred into clinical practice. We advocate that laparoscopic training should begin in a controlled workshop setting before procedures are attempted on human patients.