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Surgical Pearls
Sept/Oct 2013

The Use of Open-Cell Foam and Elastic Foam Tape as an Affordable Skin Simulator for Teaching Suture Technique

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2013;15(5):385-387. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2013.137

The techniques of suturing and local tissue transfer are skills that are acquired through multiple years of surgical experience and countless hours in the operating room. Each skill is challenging to acquire and implement but eventually works its way into the procedural repertoire of physicians in fields ranging from family medicine to plastic surgery. Equally challenging is the task of teaching medical students and surgical residents these skills without compromising patient safety or satisfaction. Duty hour restrictions and changes in billing requirements pose new challenges for the medical student and junior resident seeking experience in the operating room. This makes the preparedness of student surgeons prior to their appearance in the operative environment paramount. Simulators provide early, safe experience for the beginning surgeon.

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