Evaluation and implementation of a mannequin-based surgical simulator for margin-involving eyelid laceration repair – a pilot study

Jiawei Zhao, Meleha Ahmad, Emily W. Gower, Roxana Fu, Fasika A. Woreta, Shannath L. Merbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Repair of margin-involving eyelid lacerations is a challenge for beginning ophthalmology residents, yet no commercially-available simulation models exist for learning this skill. The objective of the study was to modify a mannequin-based surgical simulator originally developed for trachomatous trichiasis surgery training to teach margin-involving eyelid laceration repair and to evaluate its success within a residency wet-lab environment. Methods: We modified a previously developed mannequin-based training system for trachomatous trichiasis surgery into a simulator for margin-involving eyelid laceration repair. Six ophthalmology residents from a tertiary care academic institution performed at least one simulated margin-involving eyelid laceration repair using the surgical simulator between September 2019 and March 2020. Each session was video recorded. Two oculoplastic surgeons reviewed the videos in a blinded fashion to assess surgical proficiency using a standardized grading system. Participants were surveyed on their comfort level with eyelid laceration repair pre- and post-completion of simulation. They were also queried on their perceived usefulness of the surgical simulator compared to past methods and experiences. Results: Six residents completed 11 simulation surgeries. For three residents who completed more than one session, a slight increase in their skills assessment score and a decrease in operative time over two to three simulation sessions were found. Self-reported comfort level with margin-involving eyelid laceration repairs was significantly higher post-simulation compared to pre-simulation (p = 0.02). Residents ranked the usefulness of our surgical simulator higher than past methods such as fruit peels, surgical skill boards, gloves, and pig feet (p = 0.03) but lower than operating room experience (p = 0.02). Residents perceived the surgical simulator to be as useful as cadaver head and emergency department/consult experience. Conclusions: We developed a surgical simulator for teaching eyelid laceration repair and showed its utility in developing trainees’ surgical skills. Our surgical simulator was rated to be as useful as a cadaver head but is more readily available and cost effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number170
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Eyelid laceration repair
  • Oculoplastic surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Resident education
  • Surgical simulator
  • Surgical training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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