A Novel Mammoplasty Part-Task Trainer for Simulation of Breast Augmentation: Description and Evaluation

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Abstract

Introduction

Since the introduction of competency-based education and the restriction of residents’ working hours, simulator-aided training has obtained increasing attention for its role in teaching and assessing resident surgical skills. Within plastic surgery training, such simulators would be particularly useful for aesthetic surgery procedures such as augmentation mammoplasty where residents have fewer opportunities for hands-on experience. The aims of this study were to develop a part-task trainer that allows plastic surgery trainees to acquire skills necessary for augmentation mammoplasty and to assess its potential value as a training tool.

Methods

The mammoplasty part-task trainer (MPT) was designed to have a reusable and rigid thorax base and “soft” disposable layers to mimic the skin and subcutaneous tissues. A mock unilateral subglandular breast augmentation was performed by 4 board-certified plastic surgeons using standard instruments and scored using a 0 to 5 Likert scale where a score of 5 was considered the most satisfactory.

Results

Four board-certified plastic surgeons participated in the survey. On a scale of 0 to 5, the MPT’s “value” as a training tool, “relevance to practice,” and “physical attributes” scored highest, with mean values of 4.5, 4.3, and 4.1, respectively. “Realism of experience,” “ability to perform tasks,” and “realism of material” scored 3.9, 3.8, and 3.7, respectively. The observed average of the “global assessment” of the MPT was 4.3. The cost of fabrication of the MPT was estimated at approximately Can $113.

Conclusions

This study describes a preliminary novel mammoplasty task trainer that was highly valued by experts as a potential training tool.

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