Robotic-Assisted Surgery Gets Boost from New Training Simulator

Emily Berry , April 2, 2010

How does this simulation training device work? RoSS training is divided into three levels:

  1. Motor skills section. This basic section teaches surgeons the hand-eye coordination skills needed to work with the robotic program through a series of exercises.

  2. Clinical applications. After the surgeon masters the basic maneuverability skills, he or she learns how to do different elements of a procedure, such as working with a needle.

  3. Procedures. Surgeons are called on to apply the lessons they learned in the first two sections to work on simulated procedures. Currently, the two procedures RoSS simulates are hysterectomies and prostatectomy because those are the most widely performed robotic surgery procedures.

"The simulation has been designed in such a way that with a five-minute introduction, anybody could sit on it and start working," says Kesavadas.

The five-minute introduction is built into the simulation unit and teaches the practitioner how to use RoSS through audio, video, and text instructions. It teaches the RoSS user similar to the way a trained robotics surgeon would teach a new practitioner by first pointing out the various elements and instructing the user to touch them.

If a medical staff wants to increase the training of its robotics surgeons in the future, the devices' creators hope one option will be to use the RoSS.

"In certain metropolitan areas, it's easier to find good surgeons. But you look at community hospitals and hospitals in rural areas, if they buy a robot, it's very tough to get a surgeon to use it, and that is probably what has stopped its explosive growth," says Kesavadas.

"Simulation is really one of the keys to overcoming this problem."

For more information ,download HCPro's Clinical Privilege White Paper: Robotic-assisted surgery - Procedure 421, which is available online at (subscription required).

Emily Berry is an associate editor for Briefings on Credentialing and Credentialing Resource Center Connection, and manages the Credentialing Resource Center. You can reach her at

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