Virtual reality suturing task as an objective test for robotic experience assessment

Michael A. Liss, Christopher J. Kane, Tony Chen, Joel Baumgartner, Ithaar H. Derweesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: We performed a pilot study using a single virtual-simulation suturing module as an objective measurement to determine functional use of the robotic system. This study will assist in designing a study for an objective, adjunctive test for use by a surgical proctor. Methods: After IRB approval, subjects were recruited at a robotic renal surgery course to perform two attempts of the "Tubes" module without warm-up using the Da Vinci® Surgical Skills Simulator™. The overall MScore (%) from the simulator was compared among various skill levels to provide construct validity. Correlation with MScore and number of robotic cases was performed and pre-determined skill groups were tested. Nine metrics that make up the overall score were also tested via paired t test and subsequent logistic regression to determine which skills differed among experienced and novice robotic surgeons. Results: We enrolled 38 subjects with experience ranging from 0-< 200 robotic cases. Median time to complete both tasks was less than 10 min. The MScore on the first attempt was correlated to the number of previous robotic cases (R2 = 0.465; p = 0.003). MScore was different between novice and more experienced robotic surgeons on the first (44.7 vs. 63.9; p = 0.005) and second attempt (56.0 vs. 69.9; p = 0.037). Conclusion: A single virtual simulator exercise can provide objective information in determining proficient use of the robotic surgical system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number63
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • Education
  • Robotics
  • Simulation
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology

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  • Cite this

    Liss, M. A., Kane, C. J., Chen, T., Baumgartner, J., & Derweesh, I. H. (2015). Virtual reality suturing task as an objective test for robotic experience assessment. BMC Urology, 15(1), [63].