Training in progressThe General Surgical Skills Programme is designed to provide laboratory training specifically matched to the trainee's stage in clinical practice. As trainees progress from ST4 to ST5, or move sub-specialty, the Programme has the flexibility to switch trainees into more appropriate training.The training sessions are distributed at approximately monthly intervals,

For London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex ST3s and ST4s, the training sessions cover a wide-range of procedures at which junior general surgical trainees might be expected to achieve competency (see General/Junior Procedures).

For ST5s and ST6s, training is focussed on the sub-specialty of the trainee's clinical post - specifically Breast, Colorectal, Upper GI and HPB, Transplant and Vascular (see below).

All training sessions are taught by experienced consultants. Their contribution is greatly valued by the trainees.

Curriculum Accordion widget

General Junior procedures

General Junior trainees will be expected to perform:

  • Small bowel anastomosis – using porcine bowel and hand-sewn technique
  • Stoma formation and siting – using porcine bowel and skin
  • Inguinal and femoral hernia repair – using a model developed by the Programme which offers more realistic anatomical landmarks, as well as dissection of the spermatic cord and mesh placement/fixation
  • Laparoscopic appendicectomy – using a synthetic model made in-house.
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy – using a porcine tissue model. This model allows for division, mobilisation and ligation of the vessels and use of diathermy to remove the gall bladder.
  • Colorectal anastomosis – using porcine large bowel in conjunction with pelvic jigs supplied by Annex Art. Hand-sewn technique
  • Laparoscopic suturing – using box-trainers to allow practice of stitching and knot tying techniques on a range of substrates, including both tissue and synthetic skin pads
  • Gastrojejunostomy and surgical management of emergency upper gastrointestinal procedures - using hand-sewn technique on porcine stomach and small bowel, on a bench-top model
  • Vascular anastomosis – latex artery models that allow for end-to-end, longitudinal and transverse anastomoses

Breast procedures

Trainees attached to an ST5 or ST6 Breast post will be expected to perform:

  • Wide local excision
  • Breast imaging and needle localisation/biopsy
  • Nipple reconstruction
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Wire-guided surgery
  • Axillary node clearance
  • Skin sparing mastectomy and breast reconstruction
  • Breast reconstruction post mastectomy
  • Lipomodelling 

Colorectal procedures

Trainees attached to an ST5 or ST6 Colorectal post will be expected to perform: 

  • Hand-sewn and stapled ileoanal pouch formation - using porcine bowel to create a pouch on the bench-top
  • Colo-anal anastomosis – using porcine bowel on bench-top simulators, and allowing training with the Eisenhammer retractor
  • Total mesorectal excision - using human cadavers
  • Laparoscopic suturing– using box-trainers to allow practice of stitching and knot tying techniques on a range of substrates, including both tissue and synthetic skin pads
  • Haemorrhoid surgery and treatments
  • Stoma closure
  • Laparoscopic TAPP inguinal hernia repair - using Professor Dietz's synthetic model
  • Fistula surgery - using Eisenhammer retractors, Lockhart-Mummery probes and fistula probes on simulated peronium
  • Laparoscopic right hemicolectomy - using the Programme's synthetic model

Transplant procedures

Trainees attached to an ST5 or ST6 Transplant post will be expected to perform:

  • Back Table Kidney Preparation (Benching)
  • Ureteric Techniques - standard, duplex, etc
  • Kidney Transplant (Advanced Vascular)- anastomotic techniques on arteries and veins, vein elongation techniques, living/deceased donor vessels, single/multiple vessels, etc
  • Full abdominal retrieval and benching - using human cadavers
  • Dialysis Access Surgery

Upper GI/HPB procedures

Trainees attached to an ST5 or ST6 Upper GI or HPB post will be expected to perform:

  • Laparoscopic gastrojejunostomy – focusing on stapling technique and continuous stitching
  • Laparoscopic suturing – using box-trainers to allow practice of stitching and knot tying techniques on a range of substrates, including both tissue and synthetic skin pads
  • Laparoscopic fundoplication and Heller’s myotomy – using a hybrid porcine tisuue and synthetic model allowing manoeuvring of the fundus around the oesophagus via manipulation through the crus
  • Laparoscopic TAPP inguinal hernia repair - using Professor Dietz's synthetic model
  • Oesophagogastric anastomosis – using a jig to simulate depth and the awkward angles involved in this procedure.  Parachute technique can also be used
  • Total gastrectoym, oesophagojejunal anastomosis, splenectomy
  • Common bile duct exploration - using choledochoscopes and baskets to extract foreign bodies from porcine tissue
  • Pancreaticojejunostomy and pancreaticogastrostomy
  • Biliary bypass surgery

Vascular procedures

Trainees attached to an ST4, ST5 or ST6  Vascular post will be expected to perform: 

  • Femoral popliteal bypass – using a synthetic model from Limbs and Things
  • Endovascular aneurysm repair workshop – double session – all day
  • Carotid endarterectomy– involving removal of a plaque from a synthetic filled carotid artery and subsequent arterial repair
  • Endovenous Laser Therapy workshop – double session – all day
  • Femoro-distal anastomosis– using a synthetic model from Limbs and Things to practice open techniques
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair– using a synthetic model from Limbs and Things, incorporating aortic, common iliac and internal iliac aneurysms
  • Dialysis access surgery - using a synthetic model