The benefits of virtual reality simulator training for laparoscopic surgery.Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Aug; 19(4):297-302.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Virtual reality is a computer-generated system that provides a representation of an environment. This review will analyse the literature with regard to any benefit to be derived from training with virtual reality equipment and to describe the current equipment available.
Virtual reality systems are not currently realistic of the live operating environment because they lack tactile sensation, and do not represent a complete operation. The literature suggests that virtual reality training is a valuable learning tool for gynaecologists in training, particularly those in the early stages of their careers. Furthermore, it may be of benefit for the ongoing audit of surgical skills and for the early identification of a surgeon's deficiencies before operative incidents occur. It is only a matter of time before realistic virtual reality models of most complete gynaecological operations are available, with improved haptics as a result of improved computer technology.
It is inevitable that in the modern climate of litigation virtual reality training will become an essential part of clinical training, as evidence for its effectiveness as a training tool exists, and in many countries training by operating on live animals is not possible.