Novel surgical training simulator for lateral access spine surgery.
Pictured is the Lateral Access Torso Model (LATM), placed on an operating table while users are training on a lateral lumbar access surgery. The LATM is a low-cost and practical alternative to the cadavers that are currently in the market.
The Lateral Access Torso Model (LATM) is a first of its kind, fully synthetic simulator for Lateral Access Spine Surgeries providing a low-cost, realistic alternative to surgical cadavers used in training for these procedures. Lateral Access is a cutting-edge, novel spine surgery approach that is minimally invasive, requiring only a 1-inch cut and minimal trauma to tissue in the body. The difficulty the LATM seeks to address is in training surgeons on this procedure. Unlike traditional spinal surgery approaches, lateral access approaches from the side of the abdomen, requiring surgeons to understand how to properly navigate the psoas muscle and avoid the solar plexus, a vital set of nerves providing function to the stomach, kidneys, and adrenal glands. With cadavers increasing in costs yearly due to high supply and low demand, and with an average cost of $2,000 for a unit that can be used at most twice, many medical training facilities simply cannot afford access to cadavers needed to train their surgeons on this new, safer, and faster type of spinal procedure. With the LATM, our team hopes to enable surgeons, creating a training tool that costs less than $1,000 a unit and can be re-used multiple times, enabling the surgeons to practice the same procedure on the same model at a lower cost. With the LATM, we hope to increase training in and make the lateral access approach, a standard of care in order to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa/Chair, Neurosurgery, Florida
Dr. Chris Fox
Dr. Chris Fox/ Senior Associate Consultant, Neurosurgery