Developing a Three-Layered Synthetic Microsurgical Simulation Vessel
24 October 2017
12 April 2018
11 July 2018 (online)
Background Microsurgery is increasingly relevant, and is difficult to learn. Simulation is relied upon ever more in microvascular training. While living models provide the ultimate physiological feedback, we are ethically obliged to optimize non-living models to replace, refine, and reduce the use of animals in training. There is currently no three-layered synthetic vessel available for microsurgical training.
Methods A three-layered synthetic vessel was designed with a simulation company. One anastomosis was performed by 14 microsurgical experts at one center. The realism of the vessel was assessed via user questionnaires and the construct validity using objective, validated task scores to assess the anastomosis performance and the final product. Videos were obtained, which were anonymized and marked remotely by a consultant plastic surgeon.
Results The synthetic vessel intima and media displayed reasonable realism, while the adventitia was less realistic. Areas for improvement were identified. Both the task specific assessment score and the final product assessment appropriately identified experts.
Conclusion A three-layered synthetic model for microvascular training is a hygienic and useful intermediate-level alternative to commonly used synthetic and ex vivo alternatives.
This work was presented at the Doctors' Updates, Val d'Isere, on February 2, 2017.
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