New surgical tool assesses skill development

29 September 2014

A new report, published in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' (ASPS) journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, has detailed a new assessment that tracks the progress of surgeons as they develop their skills.

The Structured Assessment of Robotic Microsurgical Skills (SARMS) is the first instrument to assess the technique of surgeons in robot-assisted microsurgery, according to Dr Jesse Selber, ASPS member surgeon.

The SARMS is able to steadily improve the ability of trainees in this area after a steep first learning curve, according to initial assessments. 

In their report, the researchers describe how they developed and tested the tool to be the standard technique for evaluating technical skills for robot-assisted microsurgery. The SARMS consists of 11 parts - six evaluating microsurgery skills and five analysing robotic skills.

Experienced surgeons used SARMS to grade surgical trainees performing robot-assisted surgery from videos of their procedures. Trainees were marked on five videos and they were assessed on each operation as they gained experience with the robotic surgical system. 

As well as the scores being analysed, the time it took to complete the procedure was also analysed. According to the SARMS scores, general improvement was made with each practice session. 

Posted by Philip Briggs​


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