Schreuder H, Oei G, Maas M, Borleffs J, Schijven M. Implementation of simulation in surgical practice: minimally invasive surgery has taken the lead: the Dutch experience. Med Teach. 2011;33(2):105-115

PMID: 21275542


Minimal invasive techniques are rapidly becoming standard surgical techniques for many surgical procedures. To develop the skills necessary to apply these techniques, box trainers and/or inanimate models may be used, but these trainers lack the possibility of inherent objective classification of results. In the past decade, virtual reality (VR) trainers were introduced for training minimal invasive techniques. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is, by nature, very suitable for this type of training. The specific psychomotor skills and eye-hand coordination needed for MIS can be mastered largely using VR simulation techniques. It is also possible to transfer skills learned on a simulator to real operations, resulting in error reduction and shortening of procedural operating time. The authors aim to enlighten the process of gaining acceptance in the Netherlands for novel training techniques. The Dutch Societies of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Urology each developed individual training curricula for MIS using simulation techniques, to be implemented in daily practice. The ultimate goal is to improve patient safety. The authors outline the opinions of actors involved, such as different simulators, surgical trainees, surgeons, surgical societies, hospital boards, government, and the public. The actual implementation of nationwide training curricula for MIS is, however, a challenging step.

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