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Francisco Vaz Guimarães Filho, Giselle Coelho, Sergio Cavalheiro, Marcos Lyra and Samuel T. Zymberg

Object

Ideal surgical training models should be entirely reliable, atoxic, easy to handle, and, if possible, low cost. All available models have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of one or another will depend on the type of surgery to be performed. The authors created an anatomical model called the S.I.M.O.N.T. (Sinus Model Oto-Rhino Neuro Trainer) Neurosurgical Endotrainer, which can provide reliable neuroendoscopic training. The aim in the present study was to assess both the quality of the model and the development of surgical skills by trainees.

Methods

The S.I.M.O.N.T. is built of a synthetic thermoretractable, thermosensible rubber called Neoderma, which, combined with different polymers, produces more than 30 different formulas. Quality assessment of the model was based on qualitative and quantitative data obtained from training sessions with 9 experienced and 13 inexperienced neurosurgeons. The techniques used for evaluation were face validation, retest and interrater reliability, and construct validation.

Results

The experts considered the S.I.M.O.N.T. capable of reproducing surgical situations as if they were real and presenting great similarity with the human brain. Surgical results of serial training showed that the model could be considered precise. Finally, development and improvement in surgical skills by the trainees were observed and considered relevant to further training. It was also observed that the probability of any single error was dramatically decreased after each training session, with a mean reduction of 41.65% (range 38.7%–45.6%).

Conclusions

Neuroendoscopic training has some specific requirements. A unique set of instruments is required, as is a model that can resemble real-life situations. The S.I.M.O.N.T. is a new alternative model specially designed for this purpose. Validation techniques followed by precision assessments attested to the model's feasibility.

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Giselle Coelho, Eberval Gadelha Figueiredo, Nícollas Nunes Rabelo, Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira and Nelci Zanon

OBJECTIVE

Craniosynostosis is a premature cranial suture junction and requires a craniectomy to decrease cranial compression and remodel the affected areas of the skull. However, mastering these neurosurgical procedures requires many years of supervised training. The use of surgical simulation can reduce the risk of intraoperative error. The authors propose a new instrument for neurosurgical education, which mixes reality with virtual and realistic simulation for repair of craniosynostosis (scaphocephaly type).

METHODS

This study tested reality simulators with a synthetic thermo-retractile/thermosensitive rubber joined with different polymers. To validate the model, 18 experienced surgeons participated in this study using 3D videos developed using 3DS Max software. Renier’s “H” technique for craniosynostosis correction was applied during the simulation. All participants completed questionnaires to evaluate the simulator.

RESULTS

An expert surgical team approved the craniosynostosis reality and virtual simulators. More than 94% of participants found the simulator relevant, considering aspects such as weight, surgical positioning, dissection by planes, and cranial reconstruction. The consistency and material resistance were also approved on average by more than 60% of the surgeons.

CONCLUSIONS

The virtual simulator demands a high degree of effectiveness with 3D perception in anatomy and operative strategies in neurosurgical training. Physical and virtual simulation with mixed reality required psychomotor and cognitive abilities otherwise acquired only during practical surgical training with supervision.