Short-phase training on a virtual reality simulator improves technical performance in tele-robotic surgery.Int J Med Robot. 2008 Jun; 4(2):139-45.IJ
The da Vinci tele-robot necessitates the acquisition of new skills and surgical educators must develop standardized training programmes. It is possible that virtual reality (VR) computer simulation maybe used and it is necessary to define whether a simulator is an appropriate tool.
Ten surgical novices performed a series of five tasks, ten times on a commercially available VR robotic simulator. Two experts repeated the series of tasks twice in an attempt to validate the simulator.
Each of the five tasks displayed statistically significant learning curves. Error scores did not improve significantly over successive repetitions except in one task. The experts completed two of the tasks in a significantly faster time.
Practice sessions on a VR simulator improve technical performance. The simulator enables surgeons to mount the early part of the learning curve within a laboratory environment, which may lead to a more effective training programme.