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Research Article Open Access

Validation of a Simulator Set Up Entirely in an Academic Setting: Low-Cost Surgical Trainer Rather than High-Cost Videogame

Volume 5 - Issue 3

Michele N Minuto*1, Gianluca Marcocci1, Domenico Soriero1, Gregorio Santori1, Marco Sguanci1, Francesca Mandolfino1, Marco Casaccia1, Rosario Fornaro1, Cesare Stabilini1, Gianni Vercelli2, Simone Marcutti2, Marco Gaudina2, Francesca Stratta1, Marco Frascio1

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    • 1Department of Surgical Sciences (DISC), University of Genoa, Italy
    • 2Department of Informatics, University of Genoa, Italy

    *Corresponding author: Michele N Minuto, MD PhD, Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche (DISC), Università degli Studi di Genova, Via L.B. Alberti 6, 16132, Genoa, Italy

Received: May 29, 2018;   Published: June 11, 2018

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2018.05.001190

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Laparoscopic surgery is the standard approach for most surgical operations because of its benefits for the patients, although it requires a significant learning curve. For this reason, the FDA established the need for certified laparoscopic training programs, supported by validated surgical simulators. Our multidisciplinary team developed a virtual surgical simulator (eLap4D) based on: a low-cost and a realistic haptic feedback. This study presents the validation process of the eLap4D, performed through the construct and face validities.

The authors preliminarily analyzed and excluded the possible impact of videogame experience on eLap4D users. The construct validity was used to objectively assess the surgical value of five basic skills by comparing the performances between two groups with different levels of laparoscopy experience. The presence of a learning curve was also evaluated by comparing the results of the first and second attempts. The difference among exercises was investigated in terms of the difficulty and kind of basic gestures, comparing the completion rates of every task in the three difficulty levels each. Face validation was performed using a specific questionnaire investigating the realism and accuracy of the simulator. This last survey was administered only to experienced surgeons. The validation process indicated that eLap4D can measure surgical ability and not just videogame experience. It also positively affects the learning curve and reproduces different basic gestures and levels of difficulty. Face validity confirmed that its structural features and ergonomics are satisfactory. In conclusion, eLap4D seems suitable and useful for learning basic laparoscopy skills.

Keywords: Surgical Simulator, Virtual Reality, Training, Haptic Feedback, Validation, Face Validity, Construct Validity

Abbreviations: EUSTM: European Society for Translational Medicine; TM : Translational Medicine; TS : Translational Science; SBME: SimulationBased Medical Education; FDA: Food & Drug Administration; FLS: Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery; HEC: Hand Eye Coordination

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