Cutting Edge Learning Center Simulating a Dozen Operating Rooms to be Technological Highlight of Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) conference in Las Vegas, April 18-22, 2007

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The SAGES LearningCenter is a set of educational classrooms where Surgical Spring Week attendees can gain knowledge and practice skills relevant to minimally invasive surgery. Participants may visit one or more stations that address their educational objectives and spend whatever time is necessary to meet their learning objectives. With the theme, "Everyone Has Something to Learn," SAGES has created a range of stations that provide new information and techinques to surgeons at all levels of expertise -- from trainees to seasoned practitioners.

THE SAGES 2007 LEARNING CENTER, Chaired by Gretchen Purcell, MD, PhD, and Benjamin Schneider, MD will operate 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Friday and Saturday, April 20 & 21, 2007 in the Versailles Ballroom of the Paris Las Vegas. The Learning Center is a set of educational classrooms where attendees can gain knowledge and practice skills relevant to minimally invasive

surgery. Thirteen stations include:

STATION 1: BASIC INSTRUMENTATION: Instruction on the assembly, use, and troubleshooting for basic laparoscopic tools including staplers, suturing devices, and instruments for coagulation and cutting.

STATION 2: SUTURING: Intense hands-on suturing including intracorporeal techniques with instantaneous feedback. Laparoscopic tissue handling and complex suturing maneuvers

will also be demonstrated as well as virtual reality suturing simulators.

STATION 3: FLEXIBLE ENDOSCOPY: Virtual reality simulators have become state-of-the art for teaching flexible endoscopy. Upper and lower endoscopic procedures can be simulated, including ERCP. Tactile feedback is available,

STATION 4: VIDEO EDITING: Participants will learn to use tools for capturing, titling, and editing digital videos.

STATION 5: SAGES VIDEOS AND SPECIALTY PROCEDURES: Expert presentations of both core laparoscopic procedures and specialty operations from fields such as surgical oncology, thoracic surgery, trauma, and pediatric surgery. At least two prominent surgeons will be

scheduled for each hour

The SAGES TOP 14 videos, SAGES Grand Rounds series, and the SAGES Pearls videos will be shown and available for individual viewing. This station also will offer one-on-one instruction about specialized surgical techniques in general, thoracic, and pediatric surgery. Specialist surgeons will present video clips and photos that illustrate surgical procedures.


HERNIA REPAIR: Laparoscopic common bile duct (CBD) exploration has proven effective but is difficult to learn. Participants will practice the procedure using the latest teaching models available. Trainees will use flexible choledochoscopes, cystic duct balloon dilators, and

baskets to retrieve CBD stones.

STATION 7: INTRAOPERATIVE ULTRASOUND: Focus is on Intraoperative Ultrasound techniques and applications. Participants will use the latest ultrasound technology with a new inanimate phantom that mimics the ultrasound properties of abdominal organs.

STATION 8: NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR LEARNING: FEATURING DYNAMIC MINIMALLY INVASIVE TRAINING ENVIRONMENT: This station will familiarize participants with leading edge technology for acquiring and assessing laparoscopic skills. The latest operation-specific virtual reality simulators will be featured. These simulators provide a hardware platform with realistic force feedback, on laparoscopic, arthroscopic and minimally invasive cardiac software modules.


STATION 9: MINIATURE ROBOTICS: Demonstrates how surgical tool miniaturization can affect surgical technique. The station will feature miniature robot technology and allow participants to perform both laparoscopic and minirobot assisted mock surgical procedures.


STATION 10: MINIMALLY-INVASIVE OPERATING ROOM TEAM SIMULATION: Will introduce simulation for the first time. Participants will enter a mock operating endosuite and will be presented with problems to solve in groups of 3. The events will be videotaped and feedback

provided afterwards to group.

STATION 11: TOP GUN : The Top Gun Laparoscopic Skill Shootout Station will allow participants to both practice and vie for the ultimate trophy - "Top Gun." The station will feature the "Rosser" stations developed at Yale and well known for requiring significant


STATION 12: VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY ANATOMICAL SIMULATIONS: The latest in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) simulation capabilities. Newly created segmentation techniques combined with Virtual Reality allow medical personnel to examine anatomical data at any scale with full 3D viewing and interaction.

STATION 13: PEDIATRIC MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY TRAINERS: Neonate-scale laparoscopic and thoracoscopic training models are presented to assist those interested in pediatric surgery in the development of fundamental skills used in neonatal surgery such as suturing, intracorporeal knot-tying and running the bowel.


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Barbara Berci
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