Multiparous Ewe as a Model for Teaching Vaginal Hysterectomy Techniques

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Despite being linked to improving patient outcomes and limiting costs, the use of vaginal hysterectomy is on the wane. Although a combination of reasons might explain this trend, one cause is a lack of practical training. An appropriate teaching model must therefore be devised. Currently, only low-fidelity simulators exist. Ewes provide an appropriate model for pelvic anatomy and are well-suited for testing vaginal mesh properties. This article sets out a vaginal hysterectomy procedure for use as an education and training model.


A multiparous ewe was the model. Surgery was performed under general anesthesia. The ewe was in a lithotomy position resembling that assumed by women on the operating table.


Two vaginal hysterectomies were performed on two ewes, following every step precisely as if the model were human. Each surgical step of vaginal hysterectomy performed on the ewe and on a woman were compared side by side. We identified that all surgical steps were particularly similar. The main limitations of this model are costs ($500/procedure), logistic problems (housing large animals), and public opposition to animal training models.


The ewe appears to be an appropriate model for teaching and training of vaginal hysterectomy.

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