A helping hand for budding surgeons

A prototype developed by IBEC’s Robotics group and their collaborators was presented at the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy’s 22nd Annual Congress in Berlin last month.

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Surgitrainer, a training platform for laparoscopic surgery – sometimes known as keyhole surgery – has been developed by Alícia Casals’ group at IBEC together with researchers at the Institut de Recerca de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and at the UPC.

The training platform incorporates a number of features that improve on existing alternatives. Not only does it test users’ skills in keyhole surgery in conditions close to reality, it analyzes and evaluates the tests in real time without intervention or additional staff supervision. Potential applications of the equipment could be to help surgeons-in-training to achieve the standard accreditations they need to qualify, and there is already interest from the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (ESGE) and the Spanish Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (SEGO).

“A simulator like Surgitrainer can improve the acquisition of the skills necessary to minimize accidents and increase patient safety,” explains Alícia, head of IBEC’s Robotics group. “Studies conducted in the U.S. on training in laparoscopic operations have shown that only 29% of surgeons have had adequate training in these procedures.”

Surgitrainer is currently at the fully operational prototype stage, and Alicia’s group is already performing tests with the collaboration of surgeons at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

Image: Dr. Rovira from Hospital de Sant Pau presenting Surgitrainer at the conference