Journal of Surgical Simulation 2015; 2: 12 - 17

Published: 09 February 2015


Original article

There is a worldwide shortfall of simulation platforms for minimally invasive surgery

R.W. Partridge, M.A. Hughes, P.M. Brennan and I.A.M. Hennessey
Corresponding author: Roland Partridge, Paediatric Surgery Registrar, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh EH9 1LF, UK. Email:


Background: The need for simulation in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has been established. Uptake of simulator training remains poor however. This study quantifies the global availability of simulation equipment, how it is currently used and clinicians’ aspirations for the future, including the emerging phenomenon of pre-operative rehearsal/warm-up.

Methods: An online survey was distributed to 1314 operating clinicians via a global professional media network.

Results: Two hundred ninety-two responses were received from 145 different cities in 63 countries. Responders were drawn from a range of surgical specialties. Only 34% reported access to a simulator during working hours, falling to 20% outside working hours. Forty-six percent had not used a simulator at all in the last 12 months, and only 19% had used it for more than 6 h in the preceding year. Seventy-nine percent supported the idea that a trainee should demonstrate basic competency on a simulator before operating on patients. Three-quarters think that there is a role for take-home MIS simulators; 86% support the use of MIS simulators for pre-operative warm-up, but only 26% currently do this.

Conclusion: Worldwide there is great enthusiasm for the integration of simulators into training and surgical practice. Suitable simulation equipment is lacking however. There is strong support for the concept of take-home simulation to address this problem.



Simulation; laparoscopy; training; surgical rehearsal; mental rehearsal; patient safety;