Cervical cerclage training: Development and assessment of a simulator

Megan Hall*, Natalie Suff, Laura Stirrat, Carrie Coary, Jessie Abernethy, Raphaelle Debray, Graham Tydeman, Andrew Shennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Cervical cerclage is a mainstay intervention for the prevention of spontaneous preterm birth in high-risk women. Simulation training facilitates high-level skill transfer in a low-consequence environment, and is being integrated into obstetrics and gynecology training. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a simulator for cervical cerclage, determine its validity as a simulator, and identify parameters suitable as proxy markers for performance. STUDY DESIGN: The 3 aims of this study were achieved, namely: (1) simulator design by obstetricians and a commercial company; (2) survey of obstetricians and gynecologists across a variety of training stages to determine need for and opinion of the simulator; and (3) comparison of novice and expert groups across a variety of proxy markers for successful cerclage insertion. RESULTS: Obstetricians and gynecologists found the simulator to be similar to clinical scenarios and suitable for skill training. Novice participants stated that the use of the simulator improved their confidence (P=.016). In a comparison between 6 expert and 8 novice surgeons, there seemed to be variations across multiple measurements of cerclage placement. CONCLUSION: Simulation is an increasingly prominent training modality for surgical skills. The simulator described herein was considered suitable for training by obstetricians and gynecologists. Further work should focus on the validations of proxy markers of successful insertion, longitudinal assessment of trainees, and correlation of training outcomes with clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100853
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • cervical cerclage
  • cervical stitch
  • high-risk pregnancy
  • obstetrics
  • operative training
  • preterm birth
  • simulation
  • surgical skills
  • training


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