Showing posts from January, 2012

Amateur surgeon saves virtual patient

The vital signs are good so, sweating and nauseated, I clench surgical tongs and start operating. It's all fake for me but for trainee obstetricians and gynaecologists at Middlemore, this couldn't be more real. The first of its kind in the country, LapSim laparoscopic simulators allow trainees to hone their skills without setting foot in a theatre. A study in Denmark, where the simulators are mandatory, found those who trained on them, performed surgery in half the time of other novices. Middlemore's obstetric and gynaecology senior medical officer Douglas Barclay is confident with his new tools. He undertakes simulation after simulation when the Sunday Star-Times visits, ranging from removing gallstones to an ectopic pregnancy. "I can teach you in a morning," he promises. Virtual or not, my palms are sweating before I even grab hold of the free-moving scissors and tongs to perform the intricate task of clamping a blood vessel. "Boys are bett