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Indian J Urol. 2018 Oct-Dec;34(4):245-253. doi: 10.4103/iju.IJU_213_18.

Simulation-based training in laparoscopic urology - Pros and cons.

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Fellow Endourology, Lapro-Robotic Surgery, Consultant Urologist, MPUH, NADIAD, Gujarat, India.


Surgery is traditionally taught by using Halsteadian principle, which includes "see one, do one, teach one". This principle relies on sheer volume of surgical exposure rather than a specific course structure. Simulation in minimally invasive surgery allows the learner to practice new motor skills in a safe and stress free environment outside the operating room, thereby decreasing the learning curve. A non-structured exhaustive MEDLINE search was done using MeSH words: "Simulation, Urological Training, Training Models, Laparoscopy Urology, Laparoscopic Skill, Endotrainer, Surgical Simulators, Simulator Validation". The " Pros and Cons of simulation based training in laparoscopic urology" were studied. Results were discussed along the following lines : 1. How does skill acquisition occur? 2. Factors affecting simulator-based training. 3. Description of types of simulators and models. 4. Validating a simulator. 5. Task analysis after training on a simulator. 6. How effectively does simulation based training, translate into improved surgical performance in real time? Pros: Simulators have the ability to teach a novice basic psychomotor skills. Supervision and feedback enhance learning in a simulation-based training. They are supplements to and not a substitution for traditional method of teaching. These models can be used as a part of most of the surgical training curriculum. Cons: Cost and availability are the key issues. The cost will determine the availability of the simulators at a center and the availability in turn would determine whether a trainee will get the opportunity to use the simulator. Also, teacher training is an important aspect which would help teachers to understand the importance of simulation in student training. The domains in which it would improve and the extent to which simulation will improve surgical skills is dependent on various factors. Most simulators cannot train a surgeon to deal with anatomical and physiological variations. At present, it is not possible to re-validate all the surgeons in terms of their surgical skills, using simulators.

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