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Surgical Simulator Training for Plastic Surgery Residents around the World

Sawh-Martinez, Rajendra M.D.; Sinno, Sammy M.D.; Shah, Ajul M.D.; Patel, Anup M.D., M.B.A.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2017 - Volume 139 - Issue 4 - p 1032e–1033e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002222
Viewpoints

Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Correspondence to Dr. Sawh-Martinez, Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, Boardman Building, Third Floor, New Haven, Conn. 06513, raj.sawh@yale.edu

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Sir:

Access to surgical care around the world is a limited commodity in critical demand.1 Plastic surgeons have a longstanding tradition of delivering expert care to underserved populations through global surgical aid organizations. These surgical missions are able to provide life-changing surgical corrections for children and adults born with a wide variety of congenital and acquired deformities.

Unfortunately, these efforts fall far short of meeting the global surgical burden that exists. One of the many barriers to local surgical care is the limited number of surgeons trained to carry out complex reconstructions in remote areas. During surgical aid trips, collaborations and educational interchanges are forged during the span of the mission. However, focused, long-term training for local surgeons is often limited.2

Educational resources mark a significant barrier to achieving improved access to surgical care. Textbooks and journal articles by experts in plastic surgery have been a longstanding resource for surgical trainees, but these are often cost-prohibitive in developing nations. Three trends are working to provide relief for this need within plastic and reconstructive surgery. First, the development and success of PRS Global Open will increase the reach of important plastic surgery publications by providing globally accessible articles. Second, the digital revolution has led to mass appeal by trainees to consume their information by means of less costly, more portable e-books and online publications. Third, free online videos and educational resources are a growing avenue for the dissemination of educational material.

Technological advances have garnered tremendous interest in developing surgical simulation for resident training.3–5 Previous reports have focused on the development and implementation of training modules, and their validation as effective tools. With a wide variety of training tools available, surgical simulation training can enhance training curricula, surgical decision-making, feedback, and technical performance.6,7 Given the high cost of developing sophisticated training modules, access to such training modules is often sparse in developing nations.

The development of plastic surgery simulation videos that are freely available over the Internet aims to contribute to the need for global surgical education resources. The creation of these surgical simulations aims to provide the trainee with a step-by-step guide of the key operative steps in complex craniofacial reconstructions.8,9 With the added benefit of intraoperative videos and narration highlighting each phase, the viewer is able to develop an understanding of each operative step and what they should aim to achieve intraoperatively.

These resources are a culmination of over a decade of work, with close collaboration between academic, philanthropic, and industry partners to create a truly interactive virtual surgical environment. We believe that the dissemination and use of such resources will allow for more readily accessible sophisticated surgical education in resource-constrained areas and provide a robust component of craniofacial surgical education globally.

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DISCLOSURE

The authors have no financial disclosures related to this article, and no funding was received for this article.

Rajendra Sawh-Martinez, M.D.

Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Yale University School of Medicine

New Haven, Conn.

Sammy Sinno, M.D.

Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery

New York University Langone Medical Center

New York, N.Y.

Ajul Shah, M.D.

Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Yale University School of Medicine

New Haven, Conn.

Anup Patel, M.D., M.B.A.

Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery

New York University Langone Medical Center

New York, N.Y.

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REFERENCES

1. Meara JG, Leather AJ, Hagander L, et alGlobal Surgery 2030: Evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development. Lancet 2015;386:569–624.
2. Patel A, Sawh-Martinez RF, Sinha I, Watkins JF, Magee WP, Persing JAEstablishing sustainable international burn missions: Lessons from India. Ann Plast Surg. 2013;71:31–33.
3. Rosen JM, Long SA, McGrath DM, Greer SESimulation in plastic surgery training and education: The path forward. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;123:729–738; discussion 739.
4. Lange T, Indelicato DJ, Rosen JMVirtual reality in surgical training. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2000;9:61–79, vii.
5. Oliker A, Napier Z, Deluccia N, et alStep-based cognitive virtual surgery simulation: An innovative approach to surgical education. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;173:325–327.
6. Aggarwal R, Mytton OT, Derbrew M, et alTraining and simulation for patient safety. Qual Saf Health Care 2010;19(Suppl 2):i34–i43.
7. Johnston MJ, Paige JT, Aggarwal R, et alAn overview of research priorities in surgical simulation: What the literature shows has been achieved during the 21st century and what remains. Am J Surg. 2015;211:214–225
8. Smile Train. The Smile Train virtual surgery simulator. Available at: https://smiletrain.biodigital.com/. Accessed.
9. My Face. Craniofacial interactive virtual assistant. Available at: https://myface.biodigital.com/. Accessed.
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GUIDELINES

Viewpoints, pertaining to issues of general interest, are welcome, even if they are not related to items previously published. Viewpoints may present unique techniques, brief technology updates, technical notes, and so on. Viewpoints will be published on a space-available basis because they are typically less timesensitive than Letters and other types of articles. Please note the following criteria:

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©2017American Society of Plastic Surgeons