Junior surgical residents participating in the course use the Simbionix LAP MentorTM to practice repeatedly in order to develop and demonstrate a required level of basic laparoscopic skills. The goal is to learn the components of the laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure and to demonstrate the ability to perform it at a high skill level. Advanced simulated surgery exercises are recommended to residents at the end of the basic training program, which allow them to perform more difficult types of surgery, including incisional hernia procedures and basic and advanced suturing tasks.

Experience demonstrates that strictly defined training programs successfully assist the resident in acquiring laparoscopic skills to a significant degree not only in a subjective view, but to a degree that is quantitatively provable. The quality of a course is obtained by means of a preset number of repetitions or by a defined proficiency level. In Switzerland, these preconditions are obligatory for the awarding of CME points. A strict time limit is also necessary. Therefore, course participants are required to complete the course within a time frame of three months. This present course meets these requirements. The course was designed by Dr. sc. techn. Martina Vitz from the Laparoscopic Training Center in Zurich, Switzerland, and is recognized by the Swiss Society for Surgery with 35 CME credits.

  • To perfect basic laparoscopic skills by repetition based training. The following skills are practiced: Manipulation of the camera with 0º/30º visual angle (keeping the horizon); Orientation in the laparoscopic environment; Application of the pivot at the simulator; Training of eye-hand coordination; Depth perception in a 2-dimensional picture; Bi-manual handling – manipulation of laparoscopic instruments; Correct application of a clip applier – principles of safe clipping; Atraumatic grasping and use of coagulation hook; Training of object orientation in space; Introduction to procedural tasks of the laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
  • To experience a hands-on laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure using the simulator.
  • To gain the necessary knowledge of the cholecystectomy procedure by performing simulated procedures. The following principles are encountered and learnt: Anatomical variants in the gall bladder region; Principles of safe and exact coagulation, controlled severing and correct pulling direction at the infundibulum; Preparation of Calot’s triangle; Safe and exact clipping and cutting.
  • To demonstrate the required level of skills to perform a safe and efficient cholecystectomy procedure by repeatedly practicing the simulated procedure. Skills evaluated include: Reaching a good average time to perform the simulated procedure; Accuracy; Safety in cutting and clipping as well as keeping the safety distance between clips; Safe coagulation; Exact and safe preparation of the gall bladder out of the liver bed.

General Surgery.

Target Audience

The basic course is of greatest benefit for surgeons in their first to third year of residency. For future surgeons in their fourth to sixth year of residency, advanced courses are more appropriate.


No previous procedural or technical knowledge is required.

Suggested Time Length

Course participants are required to complete the course within a time frame of 3 months.


This training program was designed by Dr. sc. techn. Martina Vitz of the Laparoscopic Training Center in Zurich, Switzerland.