Faster simulated laparoscopic cholecystectomy with haptic feedback technology
Marina Yiasemidou, Daniel Glassman, Peter Vasas, Sarit Badiani, Bijendra Patel
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Upper GI Surgery, Barts and The Royal London Hospital, London, UK
Background: Virtual reality simulators have been gradually introduced into surgical training. One of the enhanced features of the latest virtual simulators is haptic feedback. The usefulness of haptic feedback technology has been a matter of controversy in recent years. Previous studies have assessed the importance of haptic feedback in executing parts of a procedure or basic tasks, such as tissue grasping. The aim of this study was to assess the role of haptic feedback within a structured educational environment, based on the performance of junior surgical trainees after undergoing substantial simulation training.
Methods: Novices, whose performance was assessed after several repetitions of a task, were recruited for this study. The performance of senior house officers at the last stage of a validated laparoscopic cholecystectomy curriculum was assessed. Nine senior house officers completed a validated laparoscopic cholecystectomy curriculum on a haptic simulator and nine on a nonhaptic simulator. Performance in terms of mean total time, mean total number of movements, and mean total path length at the last level of the validated curriculum (full procedure of laparoscopic cholecystectomy) was compared between the two groups.
Results: Haptic feedback significantly reduced the time required to complete the full procedure of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (mean total time for nonhaptic machine 608.83 seconds, mean total time for haptic machine 553.27 seconds; P = 0.019) while maintaining safety standards similar to those of the nonhaptic machine (mean total number of movements: nonhaptic machine 583.74, haptic machine 603.93, P = 0.145, mean total path length: for nonhaptic machine 1207.37 cm, for haptic machine 1262.36 cm, P = 0.101).
Conclusion: Haptic feedback significantly reduced the time required to complete the full procedure of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Keywords: simulation training, surgical skills, haptic feedback, surgical training
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