Cumpanas 2017

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Does Previous Open Surgical Experience Have Any Influence on Robotic Surgery Simulation Exercises?

Alin Adrian Cumpanas1 , Razvan Bardan1 , Ovidiu Catalin Ferician1 , Silviu Constantin Latcu1 , Ciprian Duta2 , and Fulger Octavian Lazar2


Within the last years, there has been a trend in many hospitals to switch their surgical activity from open/laparoscopic procedures to robotic surgery. Some open surgeons have been shifting their activity to robotic surgery. It is still unclear whether there is a transfer of open surgical skills to robotic ones.

To evaluate whether such transfer of skills occurs and to identify which specific skills are more significantly transferred from the operative table to the console.

Material and Methods

Twenty-five volunteers were included in the study, divided into 2 groups: group A (15 participants) – medical students (without any surgical experience in open, laparoscopic or robotic surgery); and group B (10 participants) – surgeons with exclusively open surgical experience, without any previous laparoscopic or robotic experience. Participants were asked to complete 3 robotic simulator console exercises structured from the easiest one (Peg Board) to the toughest one (Sponge Suture). Overall scores for each exercise as well as specific metrics were compared between the two groups.


There were no significant differences between overall scores of the two groups for the easiest task. Overall scores were better for group B as the exercises got more complex. For the intermediate and high-difficulty level exercises, most of the specific metrics were better for group B, with the exception of the working master space item.


Our results suggest that the open surgical skills transfer to robotic skills, at least for the very beginning of the training process.

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