Welcome to FLS

Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery

…the definitive laparoscopic skills enhancement and assessment module.

“Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery – Its Time Has Come”.

Program Description

FLS establishes a standard set of didactic information and manual skills serving as a basic
curriculum to guide surgical residents, fellows, and practicing surgeons in the performance of basic laparoscopic surgery. By mastering the curriculum and skills in this inanimate modality, it is expected that both surgical residents and practicing surgeons alike will initiate and carry out their performance of laparoscopy more effectively, with greater skill and safety, and with lower complication rates. The specific aim of FLS is for the knowledge and skills gained by those who master the FLS curriculum will improve
the quality and safety of surgical care delivered to their patients.

The FLS Program consists of:

  • FLS Didactic Curriculum
  • Two-part (skills and written) FLS exam to measure your cognitive and technical

The assessment component is a two-part, proctored exam that covers cognitive
knowledge and manual skills. The written component is a timed, 80-question, multiple-
choice exam administered via computer. It is designed to test the understanding and
application of the basic fundamentals of laparoscopy with emphasis on clinical judgment
or intraoperative decision making.

The manual skills component evaluates skills based on efficiency (speed) and precision
(accuracy) of the surgeon’s maneuvers using the FLS Laparoscopic Trainer Box. The test
consists of five non-procedure specific simulation tasks incorporating most of the
psychomotor skills necessary for basic laparoscopic surgery. The skills are peg transfer,
precision cutting, ligating loop, suture with extracorporeal knot, and suture with
intracorporeal knot.


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

  • Improve the quality of care received by patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery
  • Set minimum standards for basic cognitive and technical skills used in performing laparoscopic procedures
  • Provide surgeons practicing laparoscopy with standardized didactic information on the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery and a tool to assist in development of judgment and manual skills
  • Create an objective, quantifiable measure to assess knowledge, judgment, and manual skills in basic laparoscopic surgery
  • Make available to hospitals and institutions a validated tool to measure the knowledge and skills fundamental to the performance of laparoscopic surgery


  • Helps to address case-mix inequalities in a residency program
  • Permits learning minimally invasive techniques in a safe environment without
    putting patients at risk
  • Refreshes techniques for laparoscopic surgeons returning to practice after an
    extended absence


  • Junior and senior surgical residents and fellows enrolled in an accredited program of surgical education
  • Board eligible/certified practicing surgeons
  • Residents and fellows in an accredited program of gynecology, urology, surgical oncology or other programs that teach laparoscopic procedures
  • Board eligible/certified practicing gynecologists, urologists and other physicians who perform laparoscopic procedures

Click here for an important information bulletin with a complete description of FLS and policies
concerning the FLS test.