BioDigital, a New York City company, has developed a surgical simulator to prepare residents for lung resection procedures of the right upper lobe. Developed with help from NYU Langone Medical Center, the system uses Sensable‘s haptic technology to interact with the simulated visuals on the screen.
VATS lobectomies have replaced traditional open lung surgery in the past decade, but the limits of visibility complicate resident training. Peering through a 3D stereoscopic viewer while holding a surgical scope, residents must know with certainty the “feeling” of the local anatomy in order to avoid collisions that might harm the patient. Practicing on cadavers or cadaveric organ blocks is costly and allows only one-time use; and, initial supervised learning-by-doing requires senior medical staff and operating room time that is increasingly in short supply.
BioDigital’s RULR simulator teaches the identification of structures such as the right pulmonary artery, superior and inferior pulmonary veins, and the right pulmonary ligament, combining visual representation and tactical feel. The student learns and practices proper placement of the camera port, dissector port, and stapler port. After reaching a level of mastery, the trainee is given six different types of anatomic pathology that range from the most typically occurring to rare. Because the simulator is computer based, it provides a consistent, quantifiable metric of competence. It allows residents to train in off-hours, at their convenience, and repeat modules until mastery is achieved.
Sensable press release: NYU Langone Medical Center and BioDigital Teach Lung Cancer Surgery Skills by “Feel” Using SensAble’s Haptic Devices in First Thoracic Surgery Simulator…
Flashbacks: Force Feedback Haptic Technology Used in Surgical Drilling Simulator; Haptic Technology in Assessing Spinal Anesthesia Delivery; Transvaginal Haptic Ultrasound Simulator Unveiled