Validating the Use of the Mimic dV-Trainer for Robotic Surgery Skill Acquisition Among Urology Residents

originally published in Urology

Korets R, Mues AC, Graversen JA, Gupta M, Benson MC, Cooper KL, Landman J, Badani KK

OBJECTIVE:   To compare robotic surgery skill acquisition of residents trained with Mimic dVTrainer (MdVT)and da Vinci Surgical System (dVSS) console. No standardized curriculum currently exists for robotic surgical education. The MdVT is a compact hardware platform that closely reproduces the experience of the dVSS.

METHODS:   Sixteen urology trainees were randomized into 3 groups. A baseline evaluation using dVSS was performed and consisted of 2 exercises requiring endowrist manipulation (EM), camera movement and clutching (CC), needle control (NC), and knot-tying (KT). Groups 1 and 2 completed a standardized training curriculum on MdVT and dVSS, respectively. Group 3 received no additional training. After completion of the training phase, all trainees completed a secondary evaluation on dVSS consisting of the same exercises performed during baseline evaluation.

RESULTS:   There was no difference in baseline performance scores across the 3 groups. Although Group 3showed no significant improvement in EM/CC domain (P ? .15), Groups 1 and 2 had statistically significant improvement in EM/CC domain (P ? .039 and P ? .007, respectively).The difference in improvement between Groups 1 and group 2 was not statistically different (P ?.21). Only Group 2 trainees showed significant improvement in the NC and KT domains during secondary evaluation (P ? .02).

CONCLUSION:   Curriculum-based training with MdVT or dVSS significantly improves robotic surgery aptitude. Similar improvements are seen for exercise domains shared between MdVT and dVSS groups. Follow-up studies are necessary to assess the efficacy of MdVT over a wider spectrum of domains.

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