Low-cost 3D Models for Cervical Spine Tumor Removal Training for Neurosurgery Residents

Sufianov, Albert, Ovalle, Carlos Salvador, Cruz, Omar, Contreras, Javier, Begagić, Emir, Kannan, Siddarth, Rosario, Andreina Rosario, Chmutin, Gennady, Askatovna, Garifullina Nargiza et al (2024) Low-cost 3D Models for Cervical Spine Tumor Removal Training for Neurosurgery Residents. Brain Sciences, 14 (6).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14060547


Background and Objectives: Spinal surgery, particularly for cervical pathologies like myelopathy and radiculopathy, requires a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skill. The complexity of these conditions, often necessitating surgical intervention, underscores the need for intricate understanding and precision in execution. Advancements in neurosurgical training, especially with the use of low-cost 3D models for simulating cervical spine tumor removal, are revolutionizing this field. These models provide a realistic and hands-on experience crucial for mastering complex neurosurgical techniques, filling gaps left by traditional educational methods. Materials and Methods: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of 3D-printed cervical vertebrae models in enhancing surgical skills, focusing on tumor removal and involving 20 young neurosurgery residents. These models, featuring silicone materials to simulate the spinal cord and tumor tissues, provided a realistic training experience. The training protocol included a laminectomy, dural incision, and tumor resection, using a range of microsurgical tools, focusing on steps usually performed by senior surgeons. Results: The training program received high
satisfaction rates, with 85% of participants extremely satisfied and 15% satisfied. The 3D models were deemed very realistic by 85% of participants, effectively replicating real-life scenarios. 80% found the pathologies simulated varied and accurate, and 90% appreciated the models' accurate tactile feedback. The training was extremely useful for 85% in developing surgical skills, with significant post-training confidence boosts and a strong willingness to recommend the program to peers. Conclusions: Continuing laboratory training for residents is crucial. Our model offers essential, accessible training for all hospitals, regardless of their resources, promising improved surgical quality and patient outcomes across various pathologies.

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