Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 24, 2013
The console is identical to the units used in BWH operating rooms, but instead of operating on human patients, surgeons operate in a virtual environment. It’s available to surgeons 24 hours a day, every day, in BWH’s STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation, a facility dedicated to helping health care professionals build their skill sets in simulated environments.
Working with 3-D images that mimic human tissue, surgeons sitting at the simulation console are able to get an accurate visual representation of their proficiency with using the robotic arms and tools. The simulator also records and analyzes a surgeon’s performance throughout a virtual procedure, providing both real-time feedback and a performance report to examine after the procedure.
“Safe robotic surgeons must become one with their operative console, so that the patient-side robot truly functions as an extension of their own body,” says Antonio Gargiulo, MD, Medical Director of the Center for Robotic Surgery at BWH. “This state-of-the-art simulator should give our patients confidence that their surgeon is always a technically competent robotic surgeon.”
The simulator not only provides an opportunity for physicians new to robotic surgery to safely hone their skills, but is also an important tool for our experienced robotic surgeons. An experienced surgeon may, for instance, use the console to learn or to develop a new technique.
As one of the most experienced robotic surgery providers in New England – with more than 2,000 robot-assisted surgeries performed since 2002 – the simulator is yet another example of our Center’s commitment to safety and training. In addition to being among the first hospitals in the nation to establish a strict robotic surgeon training and credentialing process, BWH also maintains a Robotic Surgery Safety Committee to oversee quality control.