American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Technology transforms surgical training

OCTOBER 25, 2017
Clinical Congress Daily Highlights, Wednesday First Edition

Artificial intelligence (AI) and simulation can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of surgical training, a pair of studies demonstrates. In one, researchers led by Daniel A. Hashimoto, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, explored the potential of using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the laborious process of editing surgical training videos. The researchers used machine learning to develop a computer program able to identify operative steps in laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with 92 percent accuracy. The program also demonstrated some ability to spot deviations from the expected course of an operation. That should eventually allow AI to provide evidence-based clinical decision support in real time, the researchers reported.

Another study showed the value of simulation in training surgical residents. Raghavendra Rao, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, and his colleagues showed that performing simulated surgery on a model can help residents attain proficiency in the basic steps of a robotic TAPP inguinal hernia repair. Five residents were rated based on time for the four components of hernia repair— peritoneal incision, sac reduction, mesh placement, and peritoneal closure — and by faculty using the Global Evaluative Assessment for Robotic Skills (GEARS). The mean GEARS score increased from 14.8 to 20.2 with training. All residents rated the model as realistic, educational, and useful for clinical practice although some failed to attain proficiency in certain steps.

Additional Information:

The Scientific Forum presentations, Artificial Intelligence for Intraoperative Video Analysis: Machine Learning’s Role in Surgical Education; Proficiency Based Education in Robotic Inguinal Hernia Repair using Simulation; and Death of the General Surgeon? The Financial Consequences of Integrated Surgical Training were presented October 25 at the 2017 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in San Diego, CA.  Program, webcast and audio information is available online at

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