ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study aims to assess the impact of a virtual reality trainer in improving percutaneous renal access skills of urological trainees. Methods: A total of 36 urology trainees participated in this prospective study. Initially, they were taken through the exercise of gaining access to the lower pole calyceal system and introducing a guidewire down the ureter. Trainees' performance was then assessed by virtual reality-derived parameters of the simulator at baseline and after 2 h of training. Results: Participants who underwent training with the simulator demonstrated significant improvement in several parameters compared to their baseline performance. There was a statistically significant correlation between total time to perform the procedure and time of radiation exposure, radiation dose and correct calyx puncture (p < 0.01). Trainees needed a mean of 15.8 min from skin puncture to correct guidewire placement into the pelvicalyceal system before and 6.49 min following training. Conclusions: We found percutaneous renal access skills of trainees improve significantly on a number of parameters as a result of training on the PERC Mentor TM VR simulator. Such simulated training has the potential to decrease the risks and complications associated with the early stages of the learning curve when training for percutaneous renal access in patients.
Urologia Internationalis 07/2012; 89:185-90. · 0.99 Impact Factor