Study shows VR training bound to strongly improve OR performance in minimal invasive surgery

Gothenburg 06 June 2002The landmark study "Virtual Reality Training Improves Operating Room Performance: Results of a Randomized, Double-Blinded Study", by world experts from Yale University and Queen's University Belfast was recently presented. It shows that surgeons who train on the surgical Procedicus MIST simulator perform 29 percent faster, made six times fewer errors and were five times less likely to injure non-target tissue, gallbladder or liver when performing surgical removal of a gallbladder, called laparoscopic cholecystectomy, in human patients.


"This is the first time that the clinical benefit of training with a surgical simulator, in this case the Procedicus MIST System for minimally invasive procedures, has been shown and the dramatic results should lead to a new approach in surgical skills training. Procedicus MIST is the only fully validated Virtual Reality surgical trainer in any category. It will be the only proven alternative for a long time since this kind of research and validation takes many years to complete", stated Jonas Ohlsson, President of Mentice AB.

The study was presented during the recent annual meeting of the American Surgical Association in Hot Springs, Virginia, April 25-27. The Association, founded in 1880, is the most prestigious group of surgeons in the United States. It has also been presented at the EAES 2002 in Lisbon, Portugal, June 2-5, the major European association for endoscopic surgery.

Among those taking part in the research was Dr. Tony Gallagher, from the Queen's University Belfast. "This shows that virtual surgery training is a very powerful addition to what is currently considered the best training approach", he stated. Dr Gallagher added that the study had also shown that all the surgeons, even those with more than seven years of experience, showed a "significantly improved" performance with the added experience of training on the Procedicus MIST System. "This suggested that even more experienced surgeons can benefit from the use of a surgical simulator, much as experienced airline pilots continually maintain their skills through the use of flying simulators", he explained.

In addition to Dr. Tony Gallagher, the team who took part in the research included Neal Seymour, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale; Richard M. Satava, Professor of Surgery at Yale; Sanziana Roman, MD and Mike O'Brien MD, junior surgeons at Yale; and Dana Andersen MD, Chair of Surgery at the University of Massachusetts.

The virtual reality system used in the study, the Procedicus MIST System, is a PC based VR system for objective ambidextrous psychomotor surgical training and assessment. It has tasks of graded complexity, sound learning principles and offers remote training and assessment. The Procedicus MIST system is developed and manufactured by Mentice AB. It has a range of modules and exercises that teach different basic skills. There are over 140 installations worldwide of this system to date.

Mentice Corporation provides turnkey solutions including hardware, software and technical support from entry-level skills acquisition to high-fidelity procedural training. Mentice AB is headquartered in Sweden and has a strong international focus with partners globally. Medical Education Technologies Inc. is the exclusive North American distributor for all Mentice products. With its range of products in the endovascular, laparoscopy and arthroscopy areas, Mentice has established a new benchmark for minimally invasive surgical simulation.

More news on Mentice Corporation is available in the following VMW April 2002 articles:

Leslie Versweyveld

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