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A Resident's experience with the simbionix simulator
Learning and mastering surgical procedures is a laborious undertaking. More so because there is usually not much room for error. This fact becomes even more apparent in the field of laparoscopy and minimal access surgery, which are fast-becoming the ideal and gold standard for an increasing number of procedures including cholecystectomy, appendicectomy, herniorrhaphy, myomectomy and diagnostics.
Laparascopy assisted surgery is also on the rise for instance in colectomy and hysterectomy. As you can imagine, these are complex procedures that are essentially a series of tasks that must be accomplished successfully. The learning curve for laparoscopy varies with procedure and can be as high as 50 cases for laparascopic cholecystectomy.
Simbinox simulator has been in the department for about one year now. It offers beginner tasks to be mastered before gradually progressing to complete procedure. Being a simulator, maneuvers can be performed without fear of injury as in a life scenario.
- Stores progress data for the user
- Gives a resident a feel of 2D views in laparoscopy.
- Additional instruments such as diathermy
- Instruments malfunctioning
- No bio-feedback on tissue handling, however attempt is made by representing bleeding
- Requires scenarios on safe use e.g direct and capacitance coupling.
That said, the simulator offers a good starting point to master procedure steps before real-patient application.
Dr David Karuri
General Surgery Resident,
Aga Khan University Hospital.