Tanoue K, Uemura M, Kenmotsu H, Ieiri S, Konishi K, Ohuchida K, Onimaru M, Nagao Y, Kumashiro R, Tomikawa M, Hashizume M. Skills assessment using a virtual reality simulator, LapSim, after training to develop fundamental skills for endoscopic surgery. Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2010;19(1):24-9

PMID: 20095894


Education and training to maintain medical safety are very important within clinical settings. We have established a training center for endoscopic surgery and we regularly hold a unique training course, which focuses on the development of fundamental skills. One hundred and ninety-four surgeons who participated in our training course were divided into four groups according to their experience in performing laparoscopic procedures. Group 1: 0-19 laparoscopic procedures (n=44). Group 2: 20-49 laparoscopic procedures (n=53). Group 3: 50-99 laparoscopic procedures (n=46). Group 4: more than 100 laparoscopic procedures (n=55). All subjects underwent evaluation for "Lifting & Grasping" using a virtual reality (VR) simulator, LapSim, before and after the training course. The mean efficiency score, time to completion and tissue damage after training were significantly improved after the training as compared with before training. Before training, subjects with greater experience had better scores. However, the only significant difference in the score was between the low experience group and greatest experience group. After training, the score increased in all groups compared with that before training, and there was no significant difference between groups. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using a VR simulator to assess fundamental skills for endoscopic surgery after training. We found that the scores for the task were associated with the level of experience of the surgeons.

Author's contacts: tanoue_k@dem.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp