A physical simulator for endoscopic endonasal drilling techniques: technical note

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In this paper, the authors present a physical model developed to teach surgeons the requisite drilling techniques when using an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) to the skull base. EEA is increasingly used for treating pathologies of the ventral and ventrolateral cranial base. Endonasal drilling is a unique skill in terms of the instruments used, the long reach required, and the restricted angulation, and gaining competency requires much practice. Based on the successful experience in creating custom simulators, the authors used 3D printing to build an EEA training model from post-processed thin-cut head CT scans, formulating the materials to provide realistic haptic feedback and endoscope handling. They performed a preliminary assessment at 2 institutions to evaluate content validity of the simulator as the first step of the validation process. Overall results were positive, particularly in terms of bony landmarks and haptic response, though minor refinements were suggested prior to use as a training device.

ABBREVIATIONSEEA = endoscopic endonasal approach; VR = virtual reality.
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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Deborah M. Rooney, Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan, 220 Victor Vaughan Bldg. #2054, 1111 E. Catherine St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109–2054. email: dmrooney@umich.edu.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online September 4, 2015; DOI: 10.3171/2015.3.JNS1552Disclosure The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
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