With the limitations of work hour restrictions and legal liability surgical resident’s operative experience is declining. We sought to find other methods of training using tactile surgical simulations for plastic surgery. With the collaborative efforts of a local artist, a local flap trainer was designed to simulate the natural properties, layers, and interaction between layers of tissue. A session was held with Plastic Surgery faculty, residents, and students to review and practice local flaps using the trainer. Afterward, the participants filled out a survey evaluating the simulated skin and tissue model and the effectiveness of the class as a teaching model. The survey given had multiple questions asking the participant to provide a ranking from 1 to 10. The results show that the class utilizing the new suture pad was an effective teaching tool with an average score of 9.56. The suture pad was given a score of 6.77 for simulating realistic skin. Overall, the group rated increased understanding and confidence of local flaps after the class. Surgical skill simulations are becoming increasingly more important with the decline of resident operative experience. There are limited options for surgical simulations that provide a realistic experience. We designed a suture pad that is effective at simulating human tissue. The surveys show that using this suture pad in flap workshops provides a valuable teaching tool.
From the *Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Richmond, Va.
†VCU School of the Arts, Richmond, Va.
‡VCU Center for Craniofacial Care Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Richmond, Va.
Published online 11 June 2018.
Received for publication June 29, 2017; accepted March 26, 2018.
Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. The Article Processing Charge was paid for by the authors.
Amy C. Kite, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, P.O. Box 980154 Richmond, VA 23298-0154, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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