Ureterorenoscopy training on cadavers embalmed by Thiel's method: simulation or a further step towards reality? Initial report

Edward Mains (Lead / Corresponding author), Benjie Tang, Tomasz Golabek, Tomasz Wiatr, Gillian Ross, Alan Duncan, Duncan Howie, Iain Tait, Piotr Chłosta, Sławomir G. Kata

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INTRODUCTION: The technique of ureterorenoscopy has a significant learning curve. Cadavers embalmed by the Thiel method have been successfully used for simulation training in a number of surgical specialties. Here we present our experience of the first use of Thiel cadavers in a formal ureteroscopy training course.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The inaugural 'Masterclass in Flexible Ureterorenoscopy' was run with participants performing ureterorenoscopy on three Thiel cadavers under expert supervision. A qualitative questionnaire was delivered to the participants and faculty. Assessed domains were tissue characteristics of the cadaveric urinary tract, anatomical features and procedural aspects. A five-point Likert score was used to assess responses. Data regarding participant experience in endourology were also collected.

RESULTS: 8 questionnaires were collected. All participants completed cadaveric ureterorenoscopy. Three-quarters reported the overall quality of tissue in the cadaveric bladder, ureters and pelvicalyceal system as high or excellent. Half reported the cadaveric bladder as being softer than in a live patient, whilst five out of eight thought that the cadaveric ureter was softer and more prone to trauma. Seven out of eight were satisfied with the overall quality of the cadaveric model. The quality of vision and irrigation in the upper urinary tracts was reported as high.

CONCLUSIONS: Thiel cadavers have been shown to have excellent tissue characteristics, as well as being durable and reusable. We have described the first use of Thiel cadavers in a designated ureterorenoscopy course, with high levels of delegate satisfaction. Further work is required to develop the role of Thiel cadavers as part of an integrated, modular urology training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalCentral European Journal of Urology
Issue number1
Early online date14 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal article
  • Ureteroscopy
  • Cadavers
  • Thiel embalming
  • Simulation
  • Training


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