Virtual reality simulator for training urologists on transurethral prostatectomy

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Abstract

Background

A virtual reality simulator provides a novel training model for improving surgical skills in a variety of fields. They can simulate a variety of surgical scenarios to improve the overall skills required for endoscopic operations, and also record the operative process of trainees in real-time and allow for objective evaluation. At present, some simulators for transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) are available. The utility of virtual reality simulators in training of transurethral prostatectomy was investigated.

Methods

Thirty-eight urologists were randomly selected to take part in a simulation based training of TURP using the TURPSim™ system. Pre and post-training global rate scale (GRS) scores and objective parameters recorded by the simulator were assessed. Then, questionnaires were filled out.

Results

Compared with baseline levels, the GRS scores of trainees increased (18.0±4.0 vs. 12.4±4.2, P <0.001), while the rate of capsule resection (26.3%±0.6% vs. 21.2%±0.4%, P <0.001), amount of blood loss ((125.8±86.3) ml vs. (83.7±41.6) ml, P<0.001), external sphincter injury (3.6±2.9 vs. 2.0±2.0, P <0.001) decreased significantly after training. Most trainees were satisfied with the simulator based training and believed that the simulator accurately mimicked actual surgical procedures and could help improve their surgical skills.

Conclusions

As a new method of training on transurethral prostatectomy skills, training of TURP using a virtual simulator can help urologists improve their surgical skills and safety. Therefore, the application of the TURPSim™ system in education and training of urologic surgery is warranted.

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