VALT Lab

Research in the VALT Laboratory


Dr. Fransson using tools.

Dr. Boel Fransson, WSU small animal surgeon and VALT lab director, works on a training box that teaches hand-eye coordination skills needed to perform laparoscopic surgery and diagnostics.

Although laparoscopic simulation training has been widely used in human medicine for more than a decade, similar training had not been available in animal medicine. A laparoscope is essentially a telescope used by surgeons to see inside body cavities while doing minimally invasive surgery through tiny incisions, often called keyholes.

Dr. Boel Fransson and Dr. Claude Ragle have conducted several studies on the effectiveness of simulated laparoscopic training. Their research has shown that additional training in a simulated laboratory like VALT at WSU increases surgeon’s skill level.

Since training began in the VALT lab, WSU veterinarians have gone from having basic skills in laparoscopic surgery to now being at the highest competency level.