Laparoscopic Skills Simulator: A Gradual Structured Training Program for Acquiring Laparoscopic Abilities

Laparoscopic Skills Simulator: A Gradual Structured Training Program for Acquiring Laparoscopic Abilities

M. Sguanci (DISC- Department of General Surgery, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy), F. Mandolfino (DISC- Department of General Surgery, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy), M. Casaccia (DISC- Department of General Surgery, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy), M. Gaudina (DIBRIS- Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy), E. Bellanti (DIBRIS- Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy), M. Minuto (DISC- Department of General Surgery, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy) and M. Frascio (DISC- Department of General Surgery, Genoa University, Genoa, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPHIM.2015010103
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the importance of acquiring basic and advanced laparoscopic skills using a virtual reality low cost simulator in laparoscopic surgery. The authors have considered six basic and five advanced skills. The training exercises are related to the acquisition of tasks which allow students to reach basic gestures competences. In the second phase the students will perform complex drills to acquire a correct gesture. The authors have developed a standardized, graduated and evidence-based training course. A software able to handle the training task has been created through a virtual interface based on the concept “student - exercise – evaluation”. The results are expected because data analysis will be possible only after a period of simulator testing on different samples of students. Referring to the experience reported by other authors, they expect significant results in terms of: reduction of learning time, better dexterity, ability to recognize and correct procedural errors, positive economic impact in term of better patients outcome, analyzed by codified clinical indicators.
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Background

The use of simulation in laparoscopic surgery training appears to be qualitatively effective if supported by a suitable evaluation system.

The increasing demand of more complex laparoscopic simulators has inspired the creation of a 4d simulator which is a physical low-cost laparoscopic training platform that reproduces the tactile feedback: eLaparo4d) integrated with a software for virtual anatomical realistic scenarios (Unity3D V 4.1).

The School of Medicine of Genoa and the Biomedical Engineering and robotic Department (DIBRIS) have cooperated to create a low-cost model based on existing and brand new software.Aim of this work is to describe the educational-training course and tools that students can use to achieve a complete mastery of surgical gestures till to the correct execution of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy task.

The Authors designed and developed a low cost videolaparoscopy simulator able to merge the newest multimodal features, the versatility and the scalability of VR-based simulators, with the powerful and specific learning framework typical of box-training physical simulators. In addition, eLaparo4D will aim at the integration of a realistic and stimulating training experience with the advantages of the modern e-learning platforms. The main key points needed to reach these goals can be summarized as follows:

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