Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 901–906 | Cite as

Laparoscopic training on Thiel human cadavers: A model to teach advanced laparoscopic procedures

  • Urs Giger
  • Isabelle Frésard
  • André Häfliger
  • Mathias Bergmann
  • Lukas Krähenbühl



Nowadays, the laparoscopic approach represents the gold standard for a wide range of various basic and advanced procedures. To reduce the learning curve in advanced laparoscopic surgery, the search for new teaching tools is of utmost importance. Our experiences with a new teaching tool to train advanced laparoscopic procedures are reported.


Hands-on training courses in colon, hernia, bariatric and vascular surgery using Thiel human cadavers (THCs) were organised by the Swiss Association of Laparoscopic and Thoracoscopic Surgery (SALTS). The courses were held by consultant surgeons expert in the field of minimal invasive surgery (MIS). At the end of each course, data was collected using a standardised, anonymous questionnaire using a Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree nor disagree; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree). Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD), percentages (%) or total number (n), if indicated.


From January 2005 to May 2006, six courses (colon = 2; hernia = 2; bariatric = 1; vascular = 1) were organized with a total of 33 participants (31 consultant surgeons; two senior residents). The authenticity of tissue colour, tissue consistency and operative tactility, respectively, were stated for the courses as follows: colon (mean: 4.4/4.2/4.2), hernia (mean: 4.3/4.2/4.0), bariatric (mean: 4.5/4.8/4.3) and vascular (mean: 2.8/2.8/2.6) courses. A high mean overall satisfaction with the courses (colon: 4.0; hernia: 4.2; bariatric: 5.0 and vascular surgery: 4.1) was also observed. All participants of the colon, bariatric, hernia and vascular courses will recommend the courses to other surgeons.


Training on THCs might be an excellent additional model to teach advanced bariatric, hernia and colon surgery. However, an important issue that remains to be defined is which training model (THC, anesthetized animals, virtual computer training, etc.) is the most appropriate for the curriculum of the skill or procedure that is being trained.


Thiel human cadaver Eeducation Laparoscopic surgery Advanced laparoscopic procedures Colon Hernia Bariatric Vascular 



European Association of Endoscopic Surgeons


Likert scale


Minimal invasive surgery


Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons


Swiss Association of Laparoscopic and Thoracoscopic Surgery


SwissEndos Training Centre


Standard deviation


Swiss Society of Surgeons


Transabdominal preperitoneal approach


Totally extraperitoneal approach


Thiel human cadaver



We thank Christian Gerber, David Stucki, and Panayotis Petropoulos as founders of the SETC in Fribourg, Switzerland.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urs Giger
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Isabelle Frésard
    • 1
  • André Häfliger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mathias Bergmann
    • 3
  • Lukas Krähenbühl
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryHôpital Cantonal FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  2. 2.Swiss Association of Laparoscopic and Thoracoscopic Surgery (SALTS)AarbergSwitzerland
  3. 3.Anatomy Department of MedicineUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Visceral SurgeryLindenhofspital BerneBerneSwitzerland

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