Basic Laparoscopic Urological Skills (BLUS) Course (2018)

Philadelphia, PA US
June 6, 2018 to June 7, 2018

Since its introduction, laparoscopy has been considered to be a very challenging approach to surgery.  Laparoscopy requires detailed knowledge of the associated equipment, establishment of access and pneumoperitoneum, associated physiology unique to laparoscopy, complications and, of course, technical skills to perform laparoscopic surgery itself.   Add to this the fact that residency programs are challenged by limited work hours, rapidly developing technology, a reduced tolerance of complications, and other limitations that are challenges to the dissemination and teaching of these skills.  Unfortunately, there is great variability in the degree to which residency programs teach laparoscopy, and many programs and residents have no formalized inanimate laparoscopy training at all.  In addition, it is more important than ever to provide residents with objective measures of their aptitude at techniques such as laparoscopy in the setting of the Next Accreditation System and Milestones assessment of residents. 

Based on this educational need, Basic Laparoscopic Urological Skills (BLUS) is a new hands-on course available exclusively for residents attending the AUA Fundamentals in Urology Course.  The goal of this course is to introduce the BLUS curriculum in a uniform way.  The course will include a full day of didactic and video sessions and a full day of hands-on training.  Participants will be divided into groups, allowing for tailored hands-on training and interactive sessions.  Technical performance improvement will be measured utilizing a dedicated algorithm allowing for an assessment of the course impact on residents' skills. Residents will receive information to help them in setting up BLUS training programs at their home institution to help with the diffusion of BLUS to residency programs at-large.

Target Audience

  • Residents attending the Fundamentals in Urology Course

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the basics of laparoscopic access, establishment and physiology of pneumoperitoneum.
  2. Review the basics of laparoscopic instrumentation including trocars, insufflators and instruments.
  3. Describe the fulcrum effect and its consequences on the laparoscopic field.
  4. Discuss the principles of laparoscopic simulation and simulator development.
  5. Master bimanual basic laparoscopic skills and the utilization of laparoscopic instruments.
  6. Correctly plan and apply precision cutting with laparoscopic scissors. 
  7. Master different endoscopic knot tying techniques: Rosser, Reverse Rosser, Square, Twist (Spaghetti).
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 15.50 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
06/06/2018 - 7:00am EDT
Event ends: 
06/07/2018 - 5:30pm EDT

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

*Breakout sessions described below

7:00 am - 8:00 amRegistration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 am - 8:30 amIntroduction and Welcome
Lee Richstone, MD, and Domenico Veneziano, MD, FEBU

Morning Session

8:30 am - 12:30 pmGroup 1 - Clinical Background and Simulation*
8:30 am - 12:30 pmGroup 2 - Hands-on Lab*
12:30 pm - 1:30 pmLunch Break

Afternoon Session

1:30 pm - 5:30 pmGroup 1 - Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery*
1:30 pm - 5:30 pmGroup 2 - Hands-on Lab*


Thursday, June 7, 2018

*Breakout sessions described below

Morning Session

8:00 am - 8:30 amContinental Breakfast
8:30 am - 12:30 pmGroup 2 - Clinical Background and Simulation*
8:30 am - 12:30 pmGroup 1 - Hands-on Lab*
12:30 pm - 1:30 pmLunch Break

Afternoon Session

1:30 pm - 5:30 pmGroup 2 - Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery*
1:30 pm - 5:30 pmGroup 1 - Hands-on Lab*


Clinical Background and Simulation

Why Are We Here?
Louis Rapheal Kavoussi, MD

Physiology and Complications Related to the Pneumoperitoneum
Michael J. Schwartz, MD  

What is BLUS? Background, Development and Validity
Robert Marten Sweet, MD, FACS  

Why BLUS? Does Laparoscopy Training Matter in the Age of Robotic Surgery?
Elspeth Marguerita McDougall, MD, FRCSC, MHPE  

Laparoscopy Lives: When and Why to Go Straight Lap
Louis Rapheal Kavoussi, MD  

Surgical Skill Assessment: Rating Scales, Video-Based Assessment and Beyond
Elspeth Marguerita McDougall, MD, FRCSC, MHPE  

The Future of Simulation Technologies: Incorporating Technical and Non-Technical Skills
Robert Marten Sweet, MD, FACS  


Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery

Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery: Approaches to Access, Port Configuration and Docking
Jessica Kreshover, MD  

Instrumentation and Trocars for Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery Li-Ming Su, MD   Overview of Laparoscopic/Robotic Pyeloplasty    
Michael J. Schwartz, MD  

Overview of Laparoscopic/Robotic Partial and Radical Nephrectomy (Trans/Retro) 
Rene Javier Sotelo, MD  

Overview of Laparoscopic/Robotic Radical Prostatectomy
Li-Ming Su, MD  

Nightmare Complications of Laparoscopy and Robotic Surgery
Rene Javier Sotelo, MD      


Hands-on Lab

Faculty: Christopher J. Hartman, MD; Jessica Kreshover, MD; Lee Richstone, MD; Michael J. Schwartz, MD; Domenico Veneziano, MD, FEBU

Includes Instruction on:

  • "Peg Transfer" Tips and Tricks
  • "Circle Cut" Tips and Tricks 
  • "Vascular Clip" Tips and Tricks 
  • "Needle Transfer" Tips and Tricks 
  • "Knot Tying" Tips and Tricks 
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
237 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States
+1 (215) 983-1600

To hold a reservation, a major credit card number must be provided.

Reference the American Urological Association when making your reservation to receive the special group rate.

To hold a reservation, a major credit card number must be provided. $169 single/double occupancy. Reference the American Urological Association Fundamentals in Urology Course when making your reservation to receive the special group rate.


Cut-off Date

Monday, May 8, 2018. Once the AUA group block is full, which may be prior to the cut-off date, the AUA is unable to guarantee rooms at this rate or at this hotel.

Check-in: 3 p.m.
Check-out: 11 a.m.



Self-parking: $30.00 per day (overnight)
Valet: $44.00 per day (overnight)




Hertz Car Rental

Hertz is pleased to offer special discounted car rental rates to AUA course and meeting attendees.  Make your car rental reservation online or call 1-800-654-2240 and mention the AUA discount code, CV# 04SG0005.



The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City enjoys an ideal location in the heart of Philadelphia's theater district on the Avenue of the Arts. Philadelphia's business district, nightlife and main attractions are minutes from the hotel.

Take in all the sights and sounds of Broad Street such as the Academy of Music across from the hotel, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Merriam Theater. Choose from a range of restaurants on Walnut Street's 'Restaurant Row' a block away. Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art with more than 300,000 works of art. Enjoy sporting events at the Philadelphia Sports Complex, home of the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers, located two miles away. The city has much to offer every guest!

Available Credit

  • 15.50 Attendance
Please login or register to take this course.

Course Registration

Registration for this course is complimentary for residents attending the AUA Fundamentals in Urology Course.

Complete the following steps to register for this course:

  1. Complete the Program Director Approval Form and submit it to
  2. Register for Fundamentals in Urology course (Note: if you have already registered for AUA Fundamentals in Urology 2018 and would like to register for the BLUS Course, please complete step No. 1. All attendees are required to submit the Program Director Approval Form before your registration is confirmed.)

Cancellation Policy

Availability is limited, and as a result, three weeks' notice is required for any attendee cancellations to allow for additional residents to participate.  The last day to cancel without penalty is Wednesday, May 16.

Any urology program whose resident cancels after Wednesday, May 16, or does not show up for the course, will be charged $500.

Cancellations must be made in writing. Requests may be made via mail or fax to 410-689-3912.  Questions? Call 1-800-908-9414 or email

AUA Education & Research reserves the right to cancel this course if a minimum enrollment is not reached before May 14, 2018. If AUA Education & Research cancels this course, notification will be sent by May 21, 2018.