Maschuw K, Hassan I, Bartsch DK. [Surgical training using simulator. Virtual reality]. Chirurg. 2010 Jan;81(1):19-24. [in German].

PMID: 19838652


Learning of laparoscopic operative skills is often complex and time consuming resulting in a learning curve especially for novices in surgery. Virtual reality (VR) simulation was developed as an alternative to conventional training, such as active assistance and conventional laparoscopic training with artificially perfused organs (Pop-Trainer). VR simulation enables a wide range of repeatable laparoscopic techniques in variable virtual scenarios. For abdominal surgery four different simulation systems (MIST-VR(R), LapSim, Simsurgery, Lap-Mentor) are currently available and the modules allow simulation of abstract exercises to more advanced laparoscopic procedures, such as laparoscopic sigmoid resection. The effect of VR training on laparoscopic performance and its impact on non-technical skills was evaluated using the simulator LapSim after a constructive validity study. Novices benefited most from VR training and performance in the operating room improved significantly after VR training. Good spatial perception and positive stress coping strategies also enhanced laparoscopic performance. VR simulation provides a tool to shift the laparoscopic learning curve outside the operating room and thus contributes to patient safety. It would be worthwhile to include VR training in the surgical curriculum. For economic reasons regional training centers seem to be an effective way to realize a broad implementation of VR simulation in surgical training. Application and development of VR simulators should be professionally promoted just as flight simulators in aviation.