Laparoscopy for Gynecologists: LIGO course review

I just returned from the LIGO (Laparoscopic Institute of Gnecologic Oncology) Matsers’ Course in Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy & Advanced Laparoscopic Procedures in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

In a nutshell, this conference is a must-attend for any gynecologist who would like to develop or advance their surgical skills in laparoscopic hysterectomies.

I highly recommend it.

I attended LIGO conference in San Francisco last year. This year I got invited to join LIGO team as faculty to help teach laparoscopic suturing on pelvic trainers.

I was happy to accept the offer as I knew the value of such an educational course and its impact on womyn’s health by training more gynecologists to become comfortable and competent in minimally invasive surgery.

I wanted to support it.

The conference spans two days (Friday & Saturday) and offers laparoscopic surgical training that is condensed, comprehensive, high-yield and hands-on using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. I find this very convenient as one would only need to take Friday off to attend. The condensed material is made easier to absorb by a constantly changing educational format. LIGO has a good balance between lectures, video demonstrations, “lunch with an expert” and hands-on training.

The Holiotomy™ Challenge:

The “Holiotomy™” is a two inch segment of Penrose drain with six dots on each side of the tubing with a one inch hole in the middle. Surgeons are challenged to place three figure of “N”s through each of the dots and to tie each of these with four square knots to close the hole. We call this a “holiotomy™”, in jest, but the process of suturing the “holiotomy™” enhances eye-hand coordination and haptic perception and simulates the essential procedures every laparoscopic surgeon needs: closure of cystotomy or enterotomy or closure of the vagina after total laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Surgeons are asked to perform three “holiotomies™” (6 figure of “N”‘s with 24 knots on two “holiotomies&™” and one “run the cuff” advanced on the third “holiotomy™”) as evidence of their developing laparoscopic skills. This challenge is made easy by the three lectures on suture techniques, the two precepted suture sessions and the 40 pelvic trainers available to you during unrestricted breaks.

Continuing Medical Education Credit (CME) is provided through joint sponsorship with The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). ACOG designates

LIGO for a maximum of 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. LIGO offers concentrated learning experience with a high faculty to attendee ratio, individually precepted simulator training and optional cadaver lab (spring course only). It is rated 4.92 (of 5.0) by over 1,250 surgeons trained since it started in 2006 according to their official website.

I have never been in a conference that feeds you that well. Food is served almost constantly throughout the day and is generally healthy (with some unhealthy but refreshing snacks from ice cream, popcorn to freshly made pretzels and the now famous LIGOtini).

A special martini that carried the name and colors of the course. It has Vodka, Orange juice, and Sambuca.

This year, the conference attracted 118 attendees from 7 countries (Canada, Colombia, Bermuda, Turkey, Kuwait, UAE & USA) and 33 American states. In addition to surgeons there were surgical assistants and residents.

Having this number of attendees allows for ample one-on-one time with a faculty member at a pelvic trainer. This hands-on experience makes this course stands out among other similar courses offered across North America.

Follow LIGO on Twitter @LapInstGynOnc
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The course is given twice a year. To register, go to


The course offers a discount if you get referred to it. So consider I referred you, use referral code: SF2013 when you register and get 100 USD off.

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Disclaimer: I do not receive any financial support from the conference, its faculty or display companies in it. I have no conflict of interest or other financial disclosures to be reported. I have volunteered my time with LIGO as a faculty

Categories: Gynecology, Health

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Thank you, Dr. Abdessamad! It was a pleasure to have you on the faculty for this course, and we look forward to welcoming you again in San Francisco next April. The discount code for the next course is SF2013, not SF2012. registration for the April 2013 will open in mid-to-late October. Safe surgeries!



  1. Bringing Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy to Northern New Brunswick | Dr. Hasan Abdessamad
  2. Looking back at a year of professional development | Dr. Hasan Abdessamad

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