Validation of a Simulation Model for Robotic Myomectomy

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Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology


Study Objective: Several simulation models have been evaluated for gynecologic procedures such as hysterectomy, but there are limited published data for myomectomy. This study aimed to assess the validity of a low-cost robotic myomectomy model for surgical simulation training. Design: Prospective cohort simulation study. Setting: Surgical simulation laboratory. Participants: Twelve obstetrics and gynecology residents and 4 fellowship-trained minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons were recruited for a 3:1 novice-to-expert ratio. Interventions: A robotic myomectomy simulation model was constructed using < $5 worth of materials: a foam cylinder, felt, a stress ball, bandage wrap, and multipurpose sealing wrap. Participants performed a simulation task involving 2 steps: fibroid enucleation and hysterotomy repair. Video-recorded performances were timed and scored by 2 blinded reviewers using the validated Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills (GEARS) scale (5–25 points) and a modified GEARS scale (5–40 points), which adds 3 novel domains specific to robotic myomectomy. Performance was also scored using predefined task errors. Participants completed a post-task questionnaire assessing the model's realism and utility. Measurements and Main Results: Median task completion time was shorter for experts than novices (9.7 vs 24.6 min, p = .001). Experts scored higher than novices on both the GEARS scale (median 23 vs 12, p = .004) and modified GEARS scale (36 vs 20, p = .004). Experts made fewer task errors than novices (median 15.5 vs 37.5, p = .034). For interrater reliability of scoring, the intraclass correlation coefficient was calculated to be 0.91 for the GEARS assessment, 0.93 for the modified GEARS assessment, and 0.60 for task errors. Using the contrasting groups method, the passing mark for the simulation task was set to a minimum modified GEARS score of 28 and a maximum of 28 errors. Most participants agreed that the model was realistic (62.5%) and useful for training (93.8%). Conclusion: We have demonstrated evidence supporting the validity of a low-cost robotic myomectomy model. This simulation model and the performance assessments developed in this study provide further educational tools for robotic myomectomy training.

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