Background: We hypothesized that the Minimally Invasive Surgery Trainer (MIST-VR; VP Medical R, London, U.K.) would be as effective as the Yale Laparoscopic Skills Course in improving laparoscopic intracorporeal suturing skills.
Materials and methods: Each student made six attempts to tie a knot laparoscopically. Students were then randomized to train on the MIST-VR for five sessions (six skills/session) or the Yale Skills for five sessions (three skills/session) over 5 days. On completion of training, all students were evaluated by a test consisting of six attempts to tie a laparoscopic knot.
Results: The percentage improvement in knot tying time did not differ significantly in the pelvic trainer group (30 +/- 21%) (from 443 +/- 135 to 311 +/- 137 seconds) and the MIST-VR group (39 +/- 21%) (from 409 +/- 109 to 256 +/- 140 seconds) (P = 0.308).
Conclusions: The MIST-VR is equivalent to the Yale Skills Course for training in the advanced laparoscopic skill of intracorporeal suturing.