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Serious Games To Mimic Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Authentic anatomical and physiological cases with responsive 3-D models that realistically mimic the touch and feel of an actual procedure help increase trainee competence

Via: Jeff Taekman's SimSingularity - Immersion Medical Adds Knot Tying and Suturing to LaparoscopyVR™ Surgical Simulator

Immersion Corporation a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, has recently announced that Immersion Medical is adding a module that includes Suturing and Knot Tying procedures and Needle Orientation and Driving skills for the LaparoscopyVR™ (LapVR™) surgical simulator.

Immersion Medical demonstrated the new module at the annual meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) held on April 9-12, in Philadelphia.

"Suturing and tying knots within the abdomen are among the most difficult skills that a laparoscopic surgeon needs to master," said Dr. Parag Bhanot, assistant professor of surgery at Georgetown University Hospital. "I was impressed that I could mimic the same motions in Immersion Medical's LapVR system that I perform in the operating room. The training modules are very realistic and avoid the typical video game appearance; thus, making it a very valuable and effective teaching tool."

Because the algorithms that drive the simulator's responses are physics-based, the LapVR system can render very realistic tool-tissue interactions. "In the LapVR simulator, we're providing a major step-up in the training environment for these skills," said Dr. Kevin Kunkler, vice president and medical director of Immersion Medical. "For example, the system recognizes whether the user has double looped the suture, or when tying knots, whether they crossed in front of or behind the other length. These are maneuvers a surgeon needs for locking down knots and for completing surgeries successfully. So, the LapVR surgical simulator provides a high level of certainty about a user's performance, which is exactly what you want in a medical training program."

The simulator's suturing procedure provides practice in ligating loops, simple-interrupted, continuous, and horizontal-mattress techniques. Instead of presenting an artificial object for suturing, which is used in most other systems, the LapVR surgical simulator presents users with a realistic animated bowel of lifelike thickness. Users must correctly drive the needle through exterior and internal surfaces of the bowel, bring the cut edges together, and tie knots securely.

Because of shorter patient recovery times and other benefits, as many as 70% of all high-volume surgeries in the U.S. are performed using laparoscopic techniques, and the trend is expected to continue. The LapVR surgical simulator supplies a safe and effective training platform to help acquire the skills needed to perform these surgeries. For example, suturing and knot tying are used in minimally invasive colon, gall bladder, gastric bypass, hernia, hysterectomy, and thoracic surgeries.

The LapVR surgical simulator's TouchSense® technology provides physics-based responses enabling realistic graphical movement of tissue and organs and realistic forces felt through the arms and handles.

The surgical simulation system comes with widely viewable monitor suitable for team training, virtual camera and tools, and, Essential Skills, Lap Chole, Running the Bowel, Adhesiolysis, and Administration modules -- all packaged in an ergonomic, height-adjustable, wheeled cart.

Additional modules include OB/GYN Surgical Procedures and Suturing and Knot Tying. The system also includes a curriculum that follows the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) industry training standards, providing key materials needed to administer effective training programs for both individuals and teams.

Institutions can also import their own didactic video content directly into the simulator for customized training.

The LapVR Surgical Simulator’s recorded performance, precision, and error metrics also allow medical institutions to assess individual and team performance.

Practice hand-eye coordination, lifting, grasping, hand transfer and
placing of pressure sensitive pegs while navigating instruments and
camera in six degrees of freedom

Learn to navigate the camera with a 0, 30 and 45 degree lens to find
objects and maintain focus in a dynamic environment

Acquire precise cutting skills and learn the concept of traction by
feeling the simulated materials and forces through your tools

About Immersion Medical, Inc.

Immersion Medical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based surgical simulation training systems worldwide. The medical and surgical simulators integrate proprietary computer software and tactile feedback robotics to create highly realistic medical simulations that help train clinicians. 

The company's key product lines are the Endoscopy AccuTouch® Simulator, CathLabVR™ surgical simulator, LaparoscopyVR™ surgical simulation system, and the Virtual IV intravenous simulator.

About Immersion

Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized leader in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Using Immersion's advanced touch feedback technology , electronic user interfaces can be made more productive, compelling, entertaining, or safer.

Immersion's technology is deployed across automotive, entertainment, industrial controls, medical training, mobility, and three-dimensional simulation markets. Immersion's patent portfolio includes over 700 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries.