Neurosurgical training with simulators: a novel neuroendoscopy model

Child’s Nervous System.

Neurosurgical training with simulators: a novel neuroendoscopy model

Sebastián G. Jaimovich, Marcela Bailez, Marcelo Asprea, Roberto Jaimovich

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to present a novel neuroendoscopy simulation model in live animals, with the objective of enhancing patient safety with realistic surgical training.

METHODS: A simulation model using live Wistar rats was designed after the approval of the Institutional Committee for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Under anesthesia, a hydroperitoneum was created in order to simulate a cavity with mesenteric membranes and vessels, viscera, and a solid and bleeding tumor (the liver) floating in a liquid environment. For validation purposes, we evaluated trainees’ basal and final skills for each neuroendoscopic procedure, and we also acknowledged trainees’ and instructors’ opinion on the model’s realism.

RESULTS: This model is simple and low cost effective for complete and real-life training in neuroendoscopy, with the possibility of performing all the basic and advanced endoscopic procedures, such as endoscopic exploration, membrane fenestration, vessel coagulation, hematoma evacuation, and endoscopic tumor biopsy and resection using a ventricular neuroendoscopy set. Although the model does not represent human ventricular anatomy, a reliable simulation is possible in real living tissue in a liquid environment. Trainees’ skills improvements were notorious.

CONCLUSION: Minimally invasive endoscopic techniques require specific training. Simulation training can improve and accelerate the learning curve. The presented training model allows simulating the different neuroendoscopic procedures. We believe that due to its practical possibilities, its simplicity, low cost, reproducibility, and reality, being live animal tissue, it can be considered a fundamental model within a complete training program on neuroendoscopy.

KEYWORDS: Neuroendoscopy, Surgical training, Simulation, Live animal model, Neurosurgical education