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VALS Equipment Requirements

Check List

Computer with internet connection for viewing video-tutorials
Training box with monitor

Laparoscopic Instruments:

  • 2 graspers
  • Scissors
  • Needle drivers
  • Knot pusher


  • Attachment clip for gauze and foam models
  • Peg board
  • Suture block


  • Gauze pads with circle
  • Ligating loops
  • Foam models
  • Penrose drain models
  • Suture

Training Box

The VALS training system (Figure 1), is presented in cooperation with Limbs and Things Inc.; one of the world’s largest manufacturer of advanced medical training products. LTI is also has the exlusive rights to provide material for our human counterpart; the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) system.

Figure 1. The VALS training system consists of a training box, with web camera, led lights, 2 strings with alligator clips, attachment clip, suture block, 50 Penrose drain models, 25 circle gauze, and 2 trochars. The VALS box is available with either TV connection or USB connection.  However, real-time display places requirements on the computer and software used for visualization. Please see the manufacturers web site for information.


For trainees with limited funding, a number of Do-it-yourself options are also available.





Laparoscopic instruments

All instruments are 5 mm, and are 33-36 cm length (except the knot pusher). Instrument depicted below are the standardized set of instruments required for VALS test centers, manufactured by Storz.

  • 2 Kelly (Maryland) graspers (figure 5)
  • Laparoscopic scissors (Figure 6)
  • Knot pusher, open (Figure 6)
  • Needle driver (at least one, the VALS test utilizes a set of 2 Szabo-Berci needle drivers ; see figure 6 (The video-tutorial in VALS training session 1, gives more information on handle and jaw types)

Figure 5. Kelly graspers depicted with VALS peg board.

Figure 6. Instruments from top to bottom; laparoscopic scissors, Szabo-Berci needle holder parrot jaw, Szabo-Berci assisting needle holder flamingo jaw, knot pusher open and closed ends.


Peg board

Like the training box, peg boards can be easily constructed out of low-cost materials. Nails can be driven through a board and pieces of tubing act as peg sleeves. For the trainee without cost concerns, the official VALS peg board (used for the test, see figure 7 below) is available at

Figure 7. The pegboard used for VALS.

For attachment of gauze pads and foam models within the box.
Please note a similar clip is included in the VALS trainer system by Limbs&Things
Suture Block (Figure 8)

Please note a suture block is included in the VALS trainer system by Limbs&Things


All disposable items can be simply constructed out of low-cost materials. However, the source for disposables used in the official VALS test is provided.

Figure 9. Consumables from left to right; gauze pad with circles, single-use ligature loops (multi-use available from same manufacturer), Penrose drain models.

Figure 10. Foam model used for ligating task in VALS. Figure 11. 2/0 silk suture 90 cm, 26 mm ½