Despite the evolution of multiple simulation-based training programs, it has remained difficult to teach advanced laparoscopic suturing. In fact, on a national survey, 73% of Fellowship Council program directors and fellows reported a need for an advanced laparoscopic suturing curriculum. Several years ago, the Simulation Committee of the Association for Surgical Education (ASE) began to explore methods to address this gap. Content experts determined various skills requisite for advanced laparoscopic suturing and over two years refined tasks designed to teach and assess these skills. Ultimately, the Advanced Training in Laparoscopic Suturing (ATLAS) program was launched by the ASE in 2022 to offer a structured curriculum designed specifically for advanced laparoscopic suturing.
ATLAS is a proficiency-based curriculum consisting of six tasks:
- Needle handling
- Off-set camera forehand suturing
- Off-set camera backhand suturing
- Confined space suturing
- Suturing under tension
- Continuous suturing
The ATLAS curriculum has accumulated validity evidence to support broad scale adoption. Numerous studies have documented the ability of scoring to distinguish surgeons of varying experience levels, improvements in surgeon performance following training, transferability to operative performance, and improved skill acquisition compared to other existing curricula.
The ATLAS task set includes the trainer box, camera, models and supplies and can be ordered from Limbs and Things. This website provides a curriculum guide with detailed instructions for set up and usage, as well as instructional videos.
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