Surgery on the temporal bone is technically challenging due to its complex anatomy. Precise anatomical dissection of the human temporal bone is essential and is fundamental for middle ear surgery. We assessed the possible application of a virtual reality temporal bone surgery simulator to the education of ear surgeons. Seventeen ENT physicians with different levels of surgical training and 20 medical students performed an antrotomy with a computer-based virtual temporal bone surgery simulator. The ease, accuracy and timing of the simulated temporal bone surgery were assessed using the automatic assessment software provided by the simulator device and additionally with a modified Final Product Analysis Scale. Trained ENT surgeons, physicians without temporal bone surgical training and medical students were all able to perform the antrotomy. However, the highly trained ENT surgeons were able to complete the surgery in approximately half the time, with better handling and accuracy as assessed by the significant reduction in injury to important middle ear structures. Trained ENT surgeons achieved significantly higher scores using both dissection analysis methods. Surprisingly, there were no significant differences in the results between medical students and physicians without experience in ear surgery. The virtual temporal bone training system can stratify users of known levels of experience. This system can be used not only to improve the surgical skills of trained ENT surgeons for more successful and injury-free surgeries, but also to train inexperienced physicians/medical students in developing their surgical skills for the ear.
|Translated title of the contribution||Assessment of skills using a virtual reality temporal bone surgery simulator|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 01.08.2013|