The role of exposure time in computerized training of prostate cryosurgery: performance comparison of surgical residents with engineering students
This study aims at the evaluation of a prototype of a computerized trainer for cryosurgery—the controlled destruction of cancer tumors by freezing. The hypothesis in this study is that computer-based cryosurgery training for an optimal cryoprobe layout is essentially a matter of exposure time, rather than trainee background or the specific computer-generated planning target. Key geometric features under considerations are associated with spatial limitations on cryoprobes placement and the match between the resulted thermal field and the unique anatomy of the prostate.
All experiments in this study were performed on the cryosurgery trainer—a prototype platform for computerized cryosurgery training, which has been presented previously. Among its key features, the cryosurgery trainer displays the prostate shape and its contours and provides a distance measurement tool on demand, in order to address spatial constraints during ultrasound imaging guidance. Another unique feature of the cryosurgery trainer is an output movie, displaying the simulated thermal field at the end of the cryoprocedure.
The current study was performed on graduate engineering students having no formal background in medicine, and the results were benchmarked against data obtained on surgical residents having no experience with cryosurgery. Despite fundamental differences in background and experience, neither group displayed superior performance when it comes to cryoprobe layout planning.
This study demonstrates that computer-based training of an optimal cryoprobe layout is feasible. This study demonstrates that the training quality is essentially related to the training exposure time, rather than to a specific planning strategy from those investigated.
KeywordsCryosurgery Prostate Simulation Planning Training Evaluation
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest. Yoed Rabin is a board member of the American College of Cryosurgery and a member of the Board of Governors of the International Society for Cryosurgery.
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