As France adapts to the recent medical education mandate requiring that all surgical residents undergo simulation training, attendees at a urology masterclass held at Hôpital Virtuel de Lorraine, France were introduced to VirtaMed’s UroS™ simulator for the first time. “The residents were positively surprised at the realism and complexity of the simulator, and thus the real benefits of training on it,” reports attendee and VirtaMed’s International Business Manager Magid Haddouchi, PhD.
Over two days of training led by the École de Chirurgie - Nancy Lorraine, sessions focusing on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) were mixed between open discussions, experience-sharing, live OR broadcasts including discussions with the operating surgeons, and courses performed on VirtaMed’s UroS™ followed by in-person debriefing with mentors.
The leaders of this masterclass were Prof. Hubert (Nancy), Prof. S. Larré (Reims), Dr. P-E. Théveniaud (Nancy), Dr. R. Mallet (Brive), and Dr. J-L Moreau (Nancy). Only Prof Hubert had prior knowledge of the UroS™. Feedback on the product from these leaders in the field was that the UroS™ is a very good tool to teach residents the basic skills needed for arthroscopic surgery.
According to Dr. Haddouchi, the attendees were initially skeptical of the simulator as they watched a demonstrated intervention. This sentiment changed once they had the opportunity to experience the simulator first-hand. At that point, they felt the procedure replicated what they’d seen in real life, and that the simulator served as a very interesting tool to acquire technique and improve the resection percentage.
The CFU masterclass participants’ HoLEP experience fell between beginner to experienced (where experienced was defined by more than 30 HoLEP performed in the OR). These participants’ reaction to the UroS™ supports the findings of Kuronen-Stewart, et al. in their study “Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate: Simulation Based Training Curriculum and Validation” in which a range of experts, intermediates, and novices used VirtaMed’s UroS™ to perform HoLEP. Per the study’s results, “Content validity questions showed 85% of participants agreed that simulator-based assessment is essential for patient safety and 87% agreed that there was a role for a validated VR simulator for use in HoLEP training.”
The authors of the study reported that prior to performing any procedures on the simulator, “There was a 15-minute time limit set for the familiarisation tasks and no participants exceeded it.” Similarly, attendees of the masterclass had limited prep time prior to procedural practice on the UroS™. “It was interesting to see how fast the hands-on exercises were completed,” recalls Dr. Haddouchi. “I only demonstrated once, beyond which time the masterclass leaders took the lead to mentor the attendees as they maneuvered the various courses.”
Such accessibility and ease of use is ideal in a training tool for urologists at any level of experience. Unlike its training alternatives, a simulator requires minimal prep, zero clean-up, and its cases can be practiced an unlimited number of times, making it an optimally time- and cost-efficient solution for resident education.
As a result of the simulator’s variety of diagnostic and therapeutic pathologies, impartial trainee assessments, and original resectoscope and other instruments, the UroS™ puts resident education and patient safety at the forefront of surgical training in urology, serving also to accelerate the learning curve for residents, support the transfer of skills to the OR, and help to standardize skills training at no risk to the patient.
Our hope here at VirtaMed is that many more residents and urology specialists alike, in France and beyond, will benefit from and appreciate the realism and complexity, the educational value and impact, of the UroS™.