SH O R T C O M M U N I C A T I O N Open Access
A laparoscopic training model for surgical
J. De Loose
and S. Weyers
Laparoscopic training is indispensable in nearly all surgi-
cal disciplines. Nowadays, laparoscopic skills are mostly
taught by simulation models [1, 2]. Training simulators
allow trainees to gain experience and skills in a safe and
easily accessible manner. Commercially available simula-
tors, however, are expensive and often impractical be-
cause usage is limited in place and time. In this article,
we provide directions to easily build a personal training
module with a cardboard box, a tablet (ex. iPad), and
laparoscopic material. Similar versions have been de-
scribed in literature, but they are still too complex to
build quickly . Others are outdated in the sense that
they need an external camera or screen to function .
Based on a survey among colleagues, we observed
that few surgical trainees are aware of this opportun-
ity and that they do not realize that this budget-
friendly training simulator is easily accessible. These
guidelines allow any surgical trainee to build his or
her very own laparoscopic training model in a mere
30 min. This allows for practice at home or at the
hospital during free hours and gaining more technical
experience . Therefore, both staff members and as-
sistants benefit from this additional training oppor-
tunity. The possible exercises are as extensive as with
professional equipment and include among others
hand-eye coordination in 2D view, laparoscopic sutur-
ing, and knotting. The lack of exercising camera navi-
gation is a shortcoming; however, this is readily
learned in the OR, being the main job of the assistant
as of his first year.
The following supplies are needed: sturdy cardboard box
(measurements: approximately 50 by 50 cm and height
minimum 25 cm), Stanley knife or scissors, tape, tablet
computer and laparoscopic instruments.
Firstly, the cardboard box is cut in a way that leaves a
construction resembling a slanted roof (see Fig. 1). This
is possible by making an oblique cut over one side of the
box and its opposite side. The resulting large oblique
plane will become the upper work space where the in-
struments go in and the tablet rests on. This surface
should ideally make an angle of 35° to 45° with the table
in order to have optimal vision when exercising.
Secondly, a large opening is to be made in the small ob-
lique plane at the back. This opening serves to bring in
light, environmental or by a desk lamp (Fig. 2), as well as to
be able to manually move training objects inside the box.
Subsequently, a thick (or double) strip of cardboard is
attached horizontally in the middle of the work space
area to support the tablet.
Next, an opening is cut at the place where the rear
camera is situated. This varies depending on the
model of the tablet and is ideally positioned centrally
in the working surface, in order to obtain an as
complete view of the inside of the box as possible.
Two or more narrow openings should be made at both
sides next to the tablet to simulate the trocar openings.
To improve stability and durability, a piece of card-
board may be fixed underneath the box using tape.
* Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Hospital St Lucas, Groenebriel 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
University Hospital Ghent, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Fig. 1 Schematic representation with indication of back plane with
large opening (a), front plane (b), camera opening (c), trocar
openings, (d) and iPad resting strip (e)
© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), 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.
De Loose and Weyers Gynecological Surgery (2017) 14:24