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Training Better Robotic Surgeons in Virtual Reality: NPR



During the training, Dr. Kenneth Kim and a resident of surgery practiced hysterectomy of a robotic simulator at UAB Hospital.

Mary Scott Hodgkin / WBHM 90.3


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Mary Scott Hodgin / WBHM 90.3

During the training session, Dr. Kenneth Kim and Surgical Residents practiced hysterectomy of a robotic simulator at UAB Hospital.

Mary Scott Hodgkin / WBHM 90.3

Across the country, surgeons learn to use more than scalpels and forceps. Over the past decade, more and more medical institutions have invested in the robot da Vinci, the most commonly used robotic or robotic device.

Compared to traditional open surgery, robotic surgery is minimally invasive Recovery time is often shorter, making technology attractive to patients and doctors. But the da Vinci surgical system is expensive, costing up to $ 2 million, and recent studies have shown that for some procedures it can sometimes lead to worse long-term results than other types of surgery. common practice in some specialties, such as urology and gynecology, and that growth is expected to continue, which means that more surgeons are learning to use the device.

"Not necessarily" is the robot better? "says Dr. Kenneth Kim, director of the robotics training program at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. "The robot is just another tool that has to be mastered like any other surgical instrument."

But "mastering the robot" can be challenging. "It's never been a problem because the open surgery, like a scissors, teaches how to use scissors in the kindergarten," says Kim. "Everyone knows functionally how to use a knife, but with a robot, it's a completely different, new tool and more complex, so there's a separate curve of learning now."

The da Vinci robot is not alone. is functioning, at least not yet. Instead, it works almost like a great video game.

Working in Virtual Reality “/>

One Way the way students feel comfortable with the device is to work in a virtual reality. In training institutions like UAB, residents of the surgery use a simulator to perform monthly tasks and practice common procedures. During one of these tasks, Bootton moves the robot's hands to place accurately colored rings on the spikes.

"So now I will take the first ring and at the same time I think," Ok now where should I go for the next one? – says Boyanto. "You always try to stay ahead of the game, but then also, making sure you do not make mistakes at the same time."

If she makes a mistake, the machine will tell her. Kim says the latest simulators are equipped with sophisticated traffic tracking technology. So while practicing a Bootton task or performing a hysterectomy in the virtual reality, the simulator records its movement – how precisely the robot's hands are used or how quickly the exercise completes. It provides objective data on surgical effectiveness. Hurshid Guru, director of robotic surgery at the Roswell Park Center for Common Cancer in New York, says that this simulator technology helps standardize the learning process. because everyone can get on the street, they learn the basic principles of driving a car, "says Guru. "The million dollar question now is," When will you let them get on the highway? "

Guru says this is the next step when surgeons specialize in different procedures.

Robot Operation Not For Every Patient

Dr. Monica Hagan Viet from Ohio University has studied robotics training programs throughout the country. She says that using a simulator to measure surgical ability helps to ensure that surgeons have a certain level of skill before they actually work with people. how the robot works, if you do not know how to remove the robot or what to do in an emergency, then even if you can run the best hysterectomy in the world and you know all the steps and all the tools, you are not safe doing that. "

Dr. Kenneth Kim says the simulators and their data help streamline the learning process and offer more objective feedback. This is a way for surgeons to learn to use the da Vinci robot as a tool, but Kim says they still have to watch and learn. 19659008] In the real world, Kim says the robot operation is not appropriate for every patient. The surgeon needs to know when to use it and when not to use it, and these decisions may change as researchers continue to study the results of robotic surgery patients.


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