Robotic simulation training for urological trainees: a comprehensive review on cost, merits and challenges

Abstract

Simulation in surgery is a safe and cost-effective way of training. Operating room performance is improved after simulation training. The necessary attributes of surgical simulators are acceptability and cost-effectiveness. It is also necessary for a simulator to demonstrate face, content, predictive, construct and concurrent validity. Urologists have embraced robot-assisted surgery. These procedures require steep learning curves. There are 6 VR simulators available for robot-assisted surgery; the daVinci Skills Simulator (dVSS), the Mimic dV Trainer (MdVT), the ProMIS simulator, the Simsurgery Educational Platform (SEP) simulator, the Robotic Surgical Simulator (RoSS) and the RobotiX Mentor (RM). Their efficacy is limited by the lack of comparative studies, standardisation of validation and high cost. There are a number of robotic surgery training curricula developed in recent years which successfully include simulation training. There are growing calls for these simulators to be incorporated into the urology training curriculum globally to shorten the learning curve without compromising patient safety. Surgical educators in urology should aim to develop a cost-effective, acceptable, validated simulator that can be incorporated into a standardised, validated robot-assisted surgery training curriculum for the next generation of robotic surgeons.

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Fig. 1

Abbreviations

RAS:

Robot-assisted surgery

dVSS:

daVinci Skills Simulator

MdVT:

Mimic dV Trainer

SEP:

Simsurgery Educational Platform

RoSS:

Robotic Surgical Simulator

RM:

RobotiX Mentor

TURP:

Transurethral resection of the prostate

TURBT:

Transurethral resection of bladder tumour

RCT:

Randomised controlled trial

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Contributions

JF performed project development and collected data. ND edited the manuscript. EM collected data and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Eoin MacCraith.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1975 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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MacCraith, E., Forde, J.C. & Davis, N.F. Robotic simulation training for urological trainees: a comprehensive review on cost, merits and challenges. J Robotic Surg 13, 371–377 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11701-019-00934-1

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Keywords

  • Robot
  • Robotic
  • Surgery
  • Simulation
  • Training
  • Urology