Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New training method helps surgeons evaluate their own minimally invasive surgery skills

Recent years have seen the rapid emergence of minimally invasive surgery procedures in operating theatres.

However, the training of surgeons in this field still leaves much to be desired. Researcher Magdalena Chmarra has changed this state of affairs by developing a realistic training system which records and analyses the surgeon's movements.

As a result there is now, for the first time, an objective benchmark for measuring a surgeon's basic skills in the field of minimally invasive surgery. Chmarra will receive her PhD for this research at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands on Monday 12 January.

Recent years have seen the rapid emergence of minimally invasive surgery procedures in operating theatres. Despite its considerable advantages, this relatively recent surgical technique still has a number of drawbacks. One such disadvantage relates to the training of surgeons, which is still, for the most part, delivered in a rather unstructured manner and, moreover, without any objective benchmark with which to measure the progress made by trainee surgeons.


Broadly speaking, there are currently two safe training methods for minimally invasive surgery. The first is the so-called box trainer, an enclosed rectangular box in which trainee surgeons can practise performing basic manipulative tasks with the surgical devices, such as picking up and moving objects. As they do this, they can be assessed by an experienced surgeon. Clearly, this is a somewhat subjective process.

The other option is the virtual reality trainer, employing computer simulations, which allows for excellent recording and analysis of the surgeon's actions. However, this training method still has the major disadvantage that it lacks realism. For example, users feel no tactile response when performing surgical tasks.


Thus both of these training methods have their drawbacks. The Delft doctoral candidate Magdalena Chmarra has sought to change this situation by developing a training tool that is realistic for the surgeon and at the same time records and analyses the motion of the instruments manipulated by the surgeon. This is accomplished with an inexpensive and relatively simple tracking device known as the ‘TrEndo’. A TrEndo incorporates three optical computer-mouse sensors which record the movements made by the surgeon in all directions.

The TrEndo has been extensively tested by medical staff at Leiden University Medical Centre, who rate the device highly. The movements that they performed with the TrEndo felt no different from those undertaken with the actual surgical devices.

TrEndo is currently undergoing further fine-tuning at Delft University of Technology.


The TrEndo helps to identify the key factors underlying the basic skills required by surgeons, thus paving the way for objective benchmarking of their competence in the field of minimally invasive surgery. By means of motion analysis, Chmarra has therefore succeeded in arranging the basic skills of the participating trainee surgeons into a classification system which ranks them as being either expert, intermediate or beginner.

Frank Nuijens | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>