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BJOG. 2006 Dec;113(12):1382-7.

Virtual reality simulation training can improve technical skills during laparoscopic salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology, Imperial College London, London, UK. rajesh.aggarwal@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the first commercially available virtual reality (VR) simulator to incorporate procedural modules for training of inexperienced gynaecological surgeons to perform laparoscopic salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Departments of surgery and gynaecology in central London teaching hospitals.

SAMPLE:

Thirty gynaecological surgeons were recruited to the study, and were divided into novice (<10 laparoscopic procedures), intermediate (20-50) and experienced (>100) groups.

METHODS:

All subjects were orientated to the VR simulator with a basic skills task, followed by performing ten repetitions of the virtual ectopic pregnancy module, in a distributed manner.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Operative performance was assessed by the time taken to perform surgery, blood loss and total instrument path length.

RESULTS:

There were significant differences between the groups at the second repetition of the ectopic module for time taken (median 551.1 versus 401.2 versus 249.2 seconds, P = 0.001), total blood loss (median 304.2 versus 187.4 versus 123.3 ml, P = 0.031) and total instrument path length (median 17.8 versus 8.3 versus 6.8 m, P = 0.023). The learning curves of the experienced operators plateaued at the second session, although greater numbers of sessions were necessary for intermediate (seven) and novice (nine) surgeons to achieve similar levels of skill.

CONCLUSIONS:

Gynaecological surgeons with minimal laparoscopic experience can improve their skills during short-phase training on a VR procedural module. In contrast, experienced operators showed nonsignificant improvements. Thus, VR simulation may be useful for the early part of the learning curve for surgeons who wish to learn to perform laparoscopic salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy.

PMID:
17081183
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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