Such a great opportunity to get your start on laparoscopy!
We had 3 days with live surgery, dry lab and wet lab training in a friendly academic ambiance. I must admit it was harder than I thought to coordinate my moves, but now I sure am more confident to work on my skills! This course on advanced laparoscopy is held every year by CLERU with international participants in my beautiful city, Cluj, therefore I encourage you to apply to the next one. The live surgery session is more than professionals in laparoscopic urology in action, it is a vivid learning environment where surgeons with different degrees of skills discuss and share tips and tricks for bettering performance. Even more, it is an opportunity to see different styles of surgical approaches for the same intervention, as the personality of each surgeon sets the color of the OR. Another great bonus is that you can also sustain the E BLUS exam that it is required for a complete formation during our residency or, if you already are a specialist, you are more than welcome to bring your team with you for a teamwork initiation in laparoscopy!
For the ones who need a little orientation with the E BLUS exam, I will explain what it is about. E BLUS (European-Basic Laparoscopic Urological Skills) is an exam that helps to standardize laparoscopic skills and it is a must have on your residency training checklist in countries that respect the EAU guidelines for the curriculum of Urology residency programs. Your speed, dexterity and accuracy is being tested on 4 standardized tasks in a though exam. According to EAU website, only 20-30% of the candidates manage to pass it on their first attempt. This is why it is important to train a lot and courses like this one are a great chance to improve your performance. After a theoretical online exam (first part), this practical one (second part) consists in performing 4 tasks: peg transfer, circle cutting, needle guidance, and knot tying. You have to be precise and efficient, appreciate depth with a great eye-hand coordination and, to make it even harder (for us, the beginners), it is against the clock!
You have 4 videos below with EAU indications and requirements for the exercises. Make your own practice station, get your World Laparoscopy Hospital mobile application and participate to as many hands-on trainings as this one if you want to start laparoscopy in your field. There are studies that have shown that the Laparo box training improves surgical skills in the OR.
Dry lab training offers a valuable learning experience as we are the operators on a live operating model- a pig in our case. The ethical principles on animal surgical training have to be respected and us, as surgeons, have to make the best of the knowledge we acquire as it comes at a high price. We have a chance to improve our skills with responsibility, the welfare of our animal patient always being a priority!
All this being said, I hope to meet you in Cluj at EAU 18th Central European Meeting in conjunction with the national congress of the Romanian Association of Urology (CEM) or at the next Course on advanced laparoscopy in Urology organized by CLERU. It’s a long way in front of us with many more levels to conquer in laparoscopy, but also great opportunities for workshops to help us become professionals!
Photo credits: Vlad Munteanu, CLERU Clubul de Laparoscopie, Endoscopie și Robotică Urologică