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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2008;120(3-4):70-6. doi: 10.1007/s00508-008-0930-8.

[Simulation of laparoscopic surgery--four years' experience at the Department of Surgery of the University Hospital Marburg].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Visceral-, Thorax- und Gefässchirurgie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.


It is well known that learning curves are longer for laparoscopic surgery compared to open surgery. Recently, virtual reality (VR) simulation was developed as alternative to conventional training. Such a new training system makes it possible to offer a wide range of repeatable surgical situations, and thus, enable assessments based on direct observation of performance. During the last four years we did several studies using a VR simulator (LapSim). After a constructive validity study - discrimination between novices and experienced laparoscopic surgeons, we were able to show that advanced residents benefit most from a three-day practical course for laparoscopic surgery, while - in a further investigation - we found contrary to training at the Pelvitrainer that novices in laparoscopic surgery have the most benefit from VR training. Minimally invasive surgery is significantly more sophisticated for the surgeon than open surgery. While Research on laparoscopic surgery has focused primarily on the development and assessment of technical skills, non technical skills such as visual-spatial perception and stress coping has received much less attention. We showed that spatial perception as well as stress coping positively correlates with virtual laparoscopic skills. A high degree of spatial perception led to faster adaption to a non-stereo environment and correlated with high level of laparoscopic skills. Furthermore, Ineffective stress-coping strategies correlate with poor virtual laparoscopic performance. VR simulation seems to be a promising tool to improve laparoscopic skills in a modern apprenticeship model. According to patient safety, the development of this instrument for surgery should be advanced professionally just as a flight simulators in aviation.

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