Journal of Surgical Simulation 2021; 8: A: 17 - 17

Published: 30 June 2021


Meeting abstract

Special Issue: Microsurgical simulation - a 'cheep' set up

Andrew Jenkinson, Emma Barlow and Neil Scott
Corresponding author: Andrew Jenkinson, Health Education In Wales, Nantgarw, UK. Email:


Introduction: The development of microsurgical skills is important for trainees from various specialties. These skills are typically acquired over the period of a week on a 'basic microsurgery course'. The 'living rat model' is typically used, which brings with it costs of animal care and the acquisition of a licence. Basic microsurgery courses cost the participant anything from £1000-£2000. With this in mind we established a 4-day course covering a microsurgical curriculum utilising the non-living chicken thigh model instead.

Methods: The chicken thigh and chicken wing were used for various microsurgical simulations over a four day course. The cost of this simulation was calculated. The impact of the course was explored through participant feedback. The first and last anastomosis were evaluated using the Anastomosis Lapse Index (ALI) to assess the acquisition of skill.

Results: The total cost for the 4 day course was £109.84 per participant. With sponsorship this was offset to make this free to Association of Surgeons In Training members. The quality of the anastomosis demonstrated improvement from the first day to the last using the ALI score. 

Conclusion: This low-cost simulation allowed this faculty to deliver a high impact course which was valued by participants and demonstrated a clear acquisition of a skill set.


microsurgical skills; simulation; low cost

Additional Information

This presentation was given at the SES 2020 online conference, 4 July 2020.