PrimeSkills in Surgery

January 16, 2008 § 1 Comment

Dissecting forceps exercise

Wikisurgery, a free encyclopedia of surgery, contains the very interesting PrimeSkills in Surgery. Originally published on CD-ROM, this is a training program in basic surgical skills made by British general surgeon Michael Edwards.

The program covers different equipment such as gloves, scissors, retractors and different kinds of forceps, and skills such as suturing, tying knots and how to cut with scissors. The above photo is from an exercise in using dissecting forceps (photo credit).

I found some of the sections very interesting. Especially the detailed descriptions of different suturing techniques. Before filming an operation the surgeons always give me a run-through of the procedure. But the basic techniques are of course never explained, as they are just that – basic. So I’m for example left wondering when you use interrupted sutures and when you use a continuous one. I feel I have a better understanding of some of the basic skills after reading parts of this program.

Suturing exercise

Sadly, the web version is neither reader friendly nor interactive. A lot has apparently been lost in the transfer from CD to web. Videos, voice overs and animations are not included, just text and images. While the photos all have a very ’70s look they’re very instructive, especially in the exercises. Lots of creative ways to practice the different techniques are described in detail. Utilizing different household appliances, some may seem a bit detached from the professional world, but they must no doubt be useful to a surgical trainee.

Or what do my surgeon readers say? Have you ever practiced your suturing skills on a padded bag (photo credit)?

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