Watterson JD, Beiko DT, Kuan JK, Denstedt JD. Randomized prospective blinded study validating acquistion of ureteroscopy skills using computer based virtual reality endourological simulator. J Urol. 2002 Nov;168(5):1928-32

PMID: 12394678


Surgical simulation has emerged in the last decade as a potential tool for aiding acquisition of technical skills, including anesthesia protocols, trauma management, cardiac catheterization and laparoscopy. We evaluate and validate the use of a computer based ureteroscopy simulator (URO Mentor, Simbionix Ltd., Lod, Israel) in the acquisition of basic ureteroscopic skills.
We assessed 20 novice trainees for the ability to perform basic ureteroscopic tasks on a computer based ureteroscopy simulator. Participants were randomized to receive individualized mentored instruction or no additional training, and subsequently underwent post-testing. Pre-training and post-training improvement in performance was assessed by objective simulator based measurements. Subjective overall performance was rated using a validated endourological global rating scale by an observer blinded to subject training status.
Demographics and pre-test scores were similar between groups. Post-testing revealed a significant effect of training on objective and subjective measurements. Spearman rank correlation demonstrated a significant association between objective simulator based measurements and the endourological global rating scale.
Use of a computer based ureteroscopy simulator resulted in rapid acquisition of ureteroscopic skills in trainees with no prior surgical training. Results of this study demonstrate the use of a virtual reality ureteroscopy simulator in endourological training. Correlation of simulator based measurements with a previously validated endourological global rating scale provides initial validation of the ureteroscopy simulator for the assessment of ureteroscopic skills.