Rodríguez-Covarrubias F, Martínez Liévano L, Gabilondo Pliego B, Gabilondo Navarro F, Atisha-Fregoso Y, Arroyo C. Use of a virtual immersion computer simulator as a model for basic training in laparoscopic urology. Actas Urol Esp. 2006 Sep;30(8):819-23

PMID: 17078579


to date, it has not been defined the best method for teaching urologic laparoscopy, however it is well recognized that it involves a steep learning curve.
A course of Laparoscopic Urology was done in our Institute. The program included skill practices in a virtual immersion simulator which evaluated, the score and time to complete each activity. This was done in a group of residents with previous experience with this virtual simulator (group 1) and another group of residents with no experience (group 2). Four different basic tasks were performed in the virtual simulator, which included: coordination, cutting, clip application and performing a simple suture.
When we compared the scores between both groups the mean scores for each task were superior in group 1 compared to the group 2, with no statistically significant difference, however when we compared the time to complete each task, it was shorter in group 1 compared to group 2 with a statistically significant difference.
The performance of residents without experience in a virtual simulator was similar to that of previously trained residents, however it takes less time to complete each task as the resident gains experience in these simulators. The use of virtual simulators for laparoscopy training are useful when learning basic techniques allowing the surgeon to improve hand dexterity and coordination in laparoscopic surgery.