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J.V. Rossi, D. Verma, G.Y. Fujii, R.R. Lakhanpal, C.Q. Panzan, D. Yanai, S.L. Wu, M.S. Humayun, E. de Juan, Jr.; Virtual Reality Simulator for Training and Assessment of Vitreoretinal Surgeons . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4944.
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Purpose: The main objective of this manuscript was to demonstrate the feasibility and potential applicability of a virtual reality simulator for vitreoretinal surgery as a training and/or assessment tool. Methods: The subjects of this study included medical students, ophthalmological residents and trained vitreoretinal surgeons. There were 3 study groups.GI comprised 22 subjects that performed a navigation task. The time to complete the task was recorded. The relationship between the completion time, experience and stereopsis was evaluated. GII included 6 subjects that consecutively performed the navigation task in order to evaluate their learning curve. GIII included 16 subjects that performed the membrane peeling task. The number of retinal contacts and the completion time were recorded. The relationship between experience and stereopis with the number of contacts and the completion time were evaluated. Results: In GI, the average completion time for students, residents and trained surgeons respectively were 121.6, 92.5 and 70.6 secs. There was significant difference between students and trained surgeons (P=0.004). In GII, there was a significant decrease in the completion time over time (P=0.001). In GIII, the average completion time and the number of retinal contacts for students, residents and trained surgeons respectively were 197, 144 and 118.2 secs / 14, 8 and 3. There was significant difference between students and residents (P=0.05) and between residents and trained surgeons (P=0.003) for the average completion time in GIII. There was significant difference between students and trained surgeons (P=0.003) and between students and residents (P=0.05) for the number of contacts per average time . There was a significant inverse correlation between stereopsis vision score and completion time in GI and number of contacts per average time (P=0.0004 and P-0.01, respectively). Conclusions: This study demonstrates potential applications of a vitreoretinal surgical simulator as training and skills assessment tools for novice, non-experienced and trained surgeons. A simulator can be used to teach specific techniques and train surgeons.
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