Journal of Surgical Simulation 2020; 7: 92 - 97

Published: 30 November 2020


Original article

Development and validation of an inexpensive home-made laparoscopic trainer for surgical training

Chin Li Tee and David Alexander Grieve
Corresponding author: Chin Li Tee, Nambour Hospital, Hospital Road, Nambour, Queensland 4560, Australia. Email:


Introduction: The main hindrances to laparoscopic surgical simulation are the cost and availability of laparoscopic trainers in regional/rural hospitals. The aims of this study are to describe the development of an inexpensive homemade (HM) laparoscopic trainer for the purpose of surgical training and to validate it by comparing with the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) trainer.

Materials and methods: The HM laparoscopic trainer was constructed with a Baxter cardboard box and some inexpensive materials. A high-definition C525 Logitech webcam was mounted on the inside of the box and connected to a laptop. Participants (n = 30) who were postgraduate year (PGY) 1–5 were prospectively randomized to perform three tasks (peg transfer, pattern cut and placement of a ligating loop) on both the HM trainer and FLS trainer. A simple paired t test was performed to compare the times between the trainers.

Results: The home-made trainer was constructed in 30 min for approximately AUD$93.70 (laptop ownership assumed), representing a significant cost saving. Results of the validation study demonstrated no statistical difference in times to complete 1 of 3 tasks (P < 0.05). On a 10-point Likert scale, the HM trainer was given a median score of between 8 and 9 for performance (video quality, lighting, simplicity of setup) and 9 for training capacity.

Conclusion: The home-made laparoscopic trainer can be constructed cheaply and easily. It is comparable with the FLS trainer and is a viable alternative for trainees who wish to practise basic laparoscopic skills at home.


inexpensive; home-made; laparoscopic trainer