Laparoscopic neutering and beyond

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About the course


Key Areas

  • Development of the unique set of psychomotor skills required for laparoscopic surgery
  • Practical hands-on experience of laparoscopic surgeries including neutering, gastropexy, liver biopsy, bile aspirate, abdominal exploration, gastrointestinal biopsies and cystotomy.

About this course

Are you interested in adding laparoscopy to the services you can offer your patients?

In cats and dogs laparoscopy can be used to perform ovariectomy/ovariohysterectomy, but also cryptorchidectomy, exploratory laparotomy, gastrointestinal biopsies, liver biopsies, bile aspirates, prophylactic gastropexy and much more. Laparoscopy has the potential to improve patient outcomes compared to conventional open surgery.

• Smaller surgical wounds result in faster return to normal activities
• Decreased pain results in faster recovery from anaesthesia
• Magnification, direct illumination plus improved access to diseased organs makes technical surgeries easier to perform
• Use of state-of-the-art technologies decrease risk of bleeding and other surgical complications, making surgery safer

Thus laparoscopy has many benefits but it requires considerable training to be able to perform it safely and effectively. The unique psychomotor skill set required to perform laparoscopic surgery cannot be transferred from open surgery. These skills include adaptation to a 2-D monitor display, depth perception, spatial awareness, video-eyehand co-ordination, instrument manipulation about a single pivot point and adaptation to a reduced field of view.

To achieve competency, the surgeon ideally needs to practise psychomotor skills in a controlled environment, outside the operating room, as this affords the opportunity for rapid and sustained skill acquisition in a safe, ethical and friendly environment. Such training will maximise your chances of success and reduce risk to your patients as you start out on your minimally invasive surgery journey. This is therefore a 3-stage course. The first stage is a one-day onsite course at the Royal Free Hospital, where we will deliver the theory behind laparoscopic surgery in veterinary medicine, demonstrate the kit required for laparoscopic surgery and introduce you to the Royal Free Medical Simulation Centre to set up a laparoscopic skills training plan on state-of-theart, virtual reality, high fidelity, laparoscopic simulators. 

The second stage will be implemented by a low-dose, highfrequency (distributed practice) training programme at the Royal Free Medical Simulation Centre. This involves 16 to 25 short, self-directed, training sessions, plus 3 to 4 one-on-one formative assessments and a final summative evaluation. The simulation centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, so for the committed, budding minimally invasive surgeon, this should be possible over an 8 week period.

The third stage is a two-day onsite course at the RVC and will allow you to review your laparoscopic skills and allow you to perform laparoscopic procedures using cadavers. Stage two is fundamental to this course, so please consider your access to the Royal Free Hospital and commitment to laparoscopic surgery before signing up. All prospective applicants should contact Karla Lee ([email protected]) and provide a CV plus two references before booking.

Why do this course?
This course is designed to launch your “key hole” surgery journey. You will develop the psychomotor skills for minimally invasive surgery by a distributed practice training programme, proven to be ‘the most effective method to acquire and retain long-term surgical skills’ (Dr Pasquale Berlingieri).

Course length:
3 stage course: 1) One day introductory course at the Royal Free Hospital; 2) Psychomotor skill training at the Royal Free Medical Simulation Centre over an 8 week period and 3) Two day course at the RVC to include one-day of cadaver practicals


Pasquale Berlingieri, MBBS PhD
Head of Screen-Based Simulation Centre,
Royal Free Hospital

Poppy Bristow, BVetMed MVetMed DipECVS MRCVS
Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellow and Lecturer in Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery
The Royal Veterinary College

Bimbi Fernando, MBBS MD FRCS
Consultant Surgeon and Simulation Lead
Royal Free Hospital

Jessica Gilby, BSc RVN
Theatre Nurse
The Royal Veterinary College

Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Internal Medicine
The Royal Veterinary College

Associate Professor in Small Animal Surgery
The Royal Veterinary College

Andrew Phillips, BVetMed DipECVS AFHEA MRCVS
Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery
The Royal Veterinary College


Start date Location / delivery
15 Jan 2020 Royal Veterinary College Book now

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