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J Endourol. 2007 Mar;21(3):285-7.

Virtual reality-assisted robotic surgery simulation.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


For more than a decade, advancing computer technologies have allowed incorporation of virtual reality (VR) into surgical training. This has become especially important in training for laparoscopic procedures, which often are complex and leave little room for error. With the advent of robotic surgery and the development and prevalence of a commercial surgical system (da Vinci robot; Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA), a valid VR-assisted robotic surgery simulator could minimize the steep learning curve associated with many of these complex procedures and thus enable better outcomes. To date, such simulation does not exist; however, several agencies and corporations are involved in making this dream a reality. We review the history and progress of VR simulation in surgical training, its promising applications in robotic-assisted surgery, and the remaining challenges to implementation.

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