An Inexpensive, Reproducible Tissue Simulator for Teaching Thoracoscopic Lobectomy

Shari L. Meyerson*, Frank LoCascio, Stafford Scott Balderson, Thomas A. D'Amico

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: Simulation is rapidly becoming an integral part of surgical education at all levels including the education of practicing surgeons in new techniques such as thoracoscopic lobectomy. Current thoracoscopic lobectomy simulator models have significant limitations including expense and requirement for specialized facilities. This study describes a novel low-cost, easily reproducible, bench top simulator. Description: Tissue blocks consisting of a porcine heart and bilateral lungs with intact pericardium were secured from a commercially available source. The pulmonary artery and veins were statically distended with ketchup to more realistically mimic the technique of dissection and allow for simultaneous identification of technical errors. Evaluation: This simulator has been used at seven different industry and society sponsored thoracoscopic lobectomy training programs by more than 100 participants. Qualitative data on the performance of the model was collected from faculty and course participants. Conclusions: A low-cost porcine heart-lung block statically perfused with ketchup provides an inexpensive, easily reproducible model for teaching thoracoscopic lobectomy, which reasonably and accurately simulates a clinical experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-597
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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