Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Engineering (M.S.E.)

Degree Program

School of Engineering


Laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique gaining popularity due to the advantages of smaller incisions, reduced pain, and shorter recovery times when compared with open surgical techniques. Training for laparoscopic surgery is a multiyear process in which candidate’s progress through a series of surgical simulations beginning with simple dexterity and coordination building exercises and ending with actual human surgeries. Early laparoscopic surgical training is performed using simulators as high tech as virtual reality computer simulations and as low tech as mirror box trainers. Studies have clearly demonstrated that variation in surgical training devices can produce variation in training results. Virtual Reality trainers are emerging as the desired standard for training due to their increased realism and increased capture of quantitative training data. Box trainers, however, remain the consensus standard because of price and the inconsistent record of VR trainers in the literature. The Electronic Laparoscopy Trainer was developed to bring the advantages of virtual reality trainers to existing video box trainers at a drastically reduced price. In this study seven subject were trained in two groups using traditional video box trainer techniques and the Electronic Laparoscopy Trainer. Subjects that trained with the Electronic Laparoscopy Trainer in combination with traditional techniques saw 18% greater skill development over the control as measured by traditional assessment techniques. Additionally, subjects who trained using v the electronic laparoscopy trainer showed a commensurate increase in performance as measured by the electronic laparoscopy trainer over the Control Group.