The importance of simulation training in surgical sciences


  • Bernardo A. Fernández-Reyes Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Ana K. Flores-González Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Luis Adrian Alvarez-Lozada Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Juventino T. Guerrero-Zertuche Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Francisco J. Arrambide-Garza Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Xavier G. Quiroz-Perales Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Alejandro Quiroga-Garza Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Rodrigo E. Elizondo-Omaña Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México
  • Santos Guzmán-López Department of Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México



Simulation, Surgical simulation, Surgical training, Surgical education


Simulators have been used throughout history to practice complicated procedures before performing them on human beings. The earliest simulation attempts were in cadavers. Donor bodies are still used for teaching and research but involve costly infrastructure, ethical and legal issues, as well as animal models. Training models need to be purposefully designed. These can be physical models, 3-D printed, simulators with virtual reality, augmented reality, or a hybrid simulation. The inert model is an alternative for animal tissue models, based on a trial-and-error method, the learning curve is approximately 65 procedures for a laparoscopist. Simulations models with virtual and augmented reality have shown that can reduce the time of practitioners with experience in laparoscopy, with an approximate reduction of 30 to 58%. Video-based learning method has been adopted in recent years but has shown to be less effective than hand-on learning using a simulator. Simulation can be involved to simulate specific scenarios, recreate simulated trauma patients, help develop a doctor-patient relationship and prepare complex approaches. Patient safety concerns call for the need to train medical personnel in simulated settings to reduce cost and patient morbidity because the ability to acquire surgical skills requires consistent practice. Simulation represents ideal teaching methods to optimize the knowledge and skill of residents before they are entrusted with procedures with real patients.


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