Simulation-based training and assessment in urological surgery

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Simulation has become widely accepted as a supplementary method of training. Within urology, the greatest number of procedure-specific models and subsequent validation studies have been carried out in the field of endourology. Many generic-skills simulators have been created for laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgery, but only a limited number of procedure-specific models are available. By contrast, open urological simulation has only seen a handful of validated models. Of the available modalities, virtual reality (VR) simulators are most commonly used for endourology and robotic surgery training, the former also employing many high-fidelity bench models. Smaller dry-lab and ex vivo animal models have been used for laparoscopic and robotic training, whereas live animals and human cadavers are widely used for full procedural training. Newer concepts such as augmented-reality (AR) models and patient-specific simulators have also been introduced. Several curricula, including one recommended within, have been produced, incorporating various different training modalities and nontechnical skills training techniques. Such curricula and validated models should be used in a structured fashion to supplement operating room training.

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