Student Work

The Design of a Bio-Realistic Surgical Phantom & An Epidemiological Study of Gastrointestinal Diseases in Northern New York


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Challenges in training surgical residents include restricted work hours, limited available cases for participation, and the absence of inanimate bio-realistic trainers that allow for practice without risking patients’ health. A bio-realistic, inanimate trainer will offer a platform for recursive practice, and bridge the transition to the operating room. The goal of this project is to develop a bio-realistic, cost-effective, and reusable laparoscopic trainer for augmenting the learning curve for residents and allowing for repetitive practice and education. Initial findings suggest that our invention will accelerate the learning curve for residents and provide an affordable platform for training in low-income countries. To examine the use-cases for the trainer, an understanding of patient symptoms and disease state is necessary. Therefore, because the surgical training model is targeted at surgeries within the abdominal cavity, it is important to have a clinical understanding of gastrointestinal diseases. Patients with gastrointestinal diseases often present to the emergency department with the chief complaint of abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is a vague and non-specific complaint, and needs to be investigated to understand its determinants. Specifically, in St. Lawrence County, New York, no study has examined the epidemiology of gastrointestinal diseases, despite the prevalence of abdominal pain complaints. Therefore, a retrospective, descriptive, cohort study was conducted to examine and report anonymous, aggregated data summarizing inpatient medical encounters from patients presenting to St. Lawrence County with abdominal pain from 2011-2017.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
Last modified
  • 2022-05-16
  • E-project-043021-083501
  • 20806
  • 2021
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Date created
  • 2021-04-30
Resource type
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