SAGES Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) Opens Two International Test Centers in France and Saudi Arabia

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons are pleased to announce that the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic SurgeryTM (FLS) – the nation’s first validated skills-based surgical education program in minimally invasive surgery – is taking a giant leap forward and expanding internationally.

Since launching in 2004, FLS has opened more than 80 Test Centers throughout the United States and Canada. Expanding FLS training and certification beyond North America has been a main focus in recent years. The newly established FLS Test Centers at IHU-Strasbourg (Strasbourg Institute of Image-Guided Surgery) in Strasbourg, France and King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will train and certify hundreds of surgical residents, fellows and practicing physicians in the basic fundamentals of laparoscopy surgery.

IHU-Strasbourg was founded by IRCAD  (Research Institute Against Digestive Cancer) in November 2011 and is recognized worldwide as today’s reference training center in minimally invasive surgery. Every year, over 4,300 surgeons from around the world are trained by a team of 800 international experts at this cutting-edge surgical technology training institute. The KFMC Simulation Center is one of the most active training facilities in the Middle East. Since January 2012, this simulation leader has offered FLS certification in collaboration with The Methodist Hospital-Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE℠) in Houston, Texas.

“The FLS Program’s international growth reflects SAGES ongoing commitment in elevating standards of training for MIS worldwide” said Dr. Okrainec, FLS Committee Co-chair and Director of the FLS International Test Center Subcommittee. “We are proud to be associated with these institutions and help them address the growing demand for a reliable and valid process for testing of competence in basic laparoscopy. We are also convinced that these new Test Centers, along with our Test Centers already up and running in Singapore (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital) and Israel (Bnai-Zion Medical Center), will further elevate the standards of training for laparoscopic surgeons, enhancing operating performance worldwide.”

The FLS program is definitely breaking down geographical barriers as it becomes a model for training, making the laparoscopic world a smaller place.

The FLS program content has been endorsed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and is a joint educational offering of SAGES and ACS.

For more information about the FLS program, visit



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