Dr. Peter Šandera on LaparoS™: The future of surgical training

AuthorMilena Zegarac

We asked Dr. med. Peter Šandera, Chief of Surgical Department at Schaffhausen Canton Hospital, Switzerland, to share insights on the benefits that Lap​aroS™mixed reality simulator offers to laparoscopic training.

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Dr. Šandera is one of the pioneers from the Swiss medical community that have been consulting with VirtaMed on LaparoS™ training cases since the early stage of product development. Collaboration started in 2018 when VirtaMed was welcomed into the OR to attend a laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed by Dr. Šandera. Ever since, it has resulted in numerous medical inputs that contributed to meaningful training content continuously being updated into the simulator.

Dr. Šandera explains that he has been particularly focused on providing feedback on anatomy in laparoscopic surgery, which includes frequent demonstrations of different anatomical aspects to VirtaMed in the OR. Such experiences and inputs are crucial to achieve the unparalleled high realism of simulation that stands out with LaparoS™.

“To me, the development of the software has been amazing in the past years,” notes Dr. Šandera on the collaboration. He further highlights the dedication within the company: “The close collaboration works quite well, we see each other on regular basis and there seems to be a great commitment at VirtaMed to bring this further and help generate a new aspect in surgical training.”

“I am very fond of LaparoS™ because I think it is one of the most realistic simulators I have seen so far, and I think it has a great place in teaching residents,” notes Dr. Šandera. He finds that laparoscopic training offered by VirtaMed plays an important role in the education of young surgeons: “Altogether, I think that this is what future training in surgery will be all about.”

Dr. Šandera points out the challenges that young surgeons are faced with on everyday basis as an important factor to consider: “Due to many side effects, reduction of working hours and reduction of interventions as a whole, residents need different opportunities.” According to him, the VirtaMed laparoscopic simulator is an efficient solution to these challenges: “LaparoS™ offers the opportunity to train in a very realistic environment, learn different steps and repeat those steps because that is what surgery is all about.”

Another crucial component that makes training with LaparoS™ stand out is objective performance feedback: “Getting automatic feedback on your level (of knowledge) is quite helpful and I think it will help residents to advance their surgical skills,” explains Dr. Šandera.

We look forward to many more years of collaboration with medical experts such as Dr. Šandera that share our passion for simulation and perceive it as an integral part of medical education.