The purpose of this study was to use a simulated virtual reality environment for training of surgical skills and then to identify if the learning that occurred was transferable to a real world surgical task. The virtual surgical tasks consisted of bimanual carrying, needle passing and mesh alignment. In this ongoing study, the experimental group (n=5) was trained by performing four blocks of the virtual surgical tasks using the da Vinci surgical robot. Pre and post training, all subjects were tested by performing a suturing task on a "life-like" suture pad. The control group (n=5) performed only the suturing task. Significantly larger pre and post differences were revealed in time to task completion (p<0.05) and total distance travelled by the dominant side instrument tip (p<0.01) in the experimental group as compared to the control group. These differences were specific to the suture running aspect of the surgical task. In conclusion, virtual reality surgical skills training may produce a significant learning effect that can transfer to actual robot-assisted laparoscopic procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 17 - NextMed
Subtitle of host publicationDesign for/the Well Being
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781586039646
StatePublished - 2009
Event17th Annual MMVR Conference - NextMed: Design for/the Well Being, MMVR17 2009 - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 19 2009Jan 22 2009

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference17th Annual MMVR Conference - NextMed: Design for/the Well Being, MMVR17 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach, CA


  • Da vinci robotic surgical system
  • Laparoscopic training
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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