gms | German Medical Science

4th InVeST – International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference

14.09. - 16.09.2015, Hannover

Development and validation of a low-cost surgical simulator to teach canine ovariohysterectomy

Meeting Abstract

InVeST 2015: International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference. Hannover, 14.-16.09.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. Doc15invest03

doi: 10.3205/15invest03, urn:nbn:de:0183-15invest039

Veröffentlicht: 10. September 2015

© 2015 Motta et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Basic surgical skill has been shown to be considered the most important area of knowledge in new graduates by over half of veterinarians. At The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the curriculum of the first two years is based predominantly in lecture and supplemental material with minimal hands-on experience. As a result, third year students often lack surgical skill and experience high levels of anxiety when entering operative procedure labs. In this study, we aim to test the hypothesis that the utilization of low cost surgical simulation models can help to improve the performance and confidence of students, while decreasing students’ perception of stress and anxiety.

To investigate this, a low-cost surgical simulator for canine ovariohysterectomy was created. This model allows students to practice surgical skills including approach and incision, identification of relevant anatomic structures, three clamp technique, disruption of the suspensory ligament, pedicle and uterine body ligation, and closure. The model base is reusable and contains representations for the body cavity, kidneys, descending colon, bladder, and ureters. The replaceable reproductive tract for the model includes representations for the vagina, cervix, uterine body, uterine horn, patent uterine artery, ovary, ovarian pedicle, suspensory ligament and mesometrium. Twenty-four students volunteered to participate, all of whom attended a lecture and had unlimited access to supplemental materials and videos online. Half of the students were chosen at random to also receive a low cost simulator, surgical instruments, and sufficient suture material to practice the procedure up to 5 times. The study culminated for the student volunteers by performing the surgical procedure on a cadaver.

Surgical performance of each student was graded by faculty members using recorded videos and a rubric created specifically for this study. A quiz and questionnaire was also completed by the participants to evaluate the students’ knowledge, performance, comfort level, and perceived model efficacy.

No significant difference was found for the quiz scores of students trained with the simulator compared to the control group. Students in the control group spent the most time watching the videos. Students with the simulator spent 52% of their total studying time using the model. Instructional video and use of the surgical simulator were considered to be the most helpful teaching aid by 100% and 89% of the students, respectively (Figure 1 [Fig. 1]). All students agreed that using the simulator increased their confidence, and most students agreed that their performance was improved and their stress level was decreased (Figure 2 [Fig. 2]). Data analysis is ongoing. We expect to find that students who utilized the surgical simulator will display higher levels of surgical skill compared to students in the control group.


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Langebæk R, Berendt M, Pedersen LT, Jensen AL, Eika B. Features that contribute to the usefulness of low-fidelity models for surgical skills training. Vet Rec. 2012 Apr 7;170(14):361. DOI: 10.1136/vr.100181 Externer Link