VALS Equipment Requirements
Computer with internet connection for viewing video-tutorials
Training box with monitor
- 2 graspers
- 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
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.
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.
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. http://www.fls-products.com/products/jumbo-clip-retainer-for-fls-trainer
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.
- Gauze pads for circle cutting (figure 9) http://www.fls-products.com/products/category/consumables
- Single use ligating loop (figure 9) http://www.fls-products.com/products/category/consumables
- Penrose drain models (figure 9) http://www.fls-products.com/products/category/consumables
- Foam models (figure 10) https://secure.vetmed.wsu.edu/VALS/shop/item.aspx?itemid=4
- Suture (figure 11) http://www.fls-products.com/products/category/consumables
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