Surgical Science

Surgical Science is a supplier of medical virtual reality simulators. The company’s healthcare simulation training solutions provide a safe environment to master skills and procedures prior to patient interaction. Through the use of advanced technology and partnerships with medical simulation societies and the healthcare simulation community at large, Surgical Science is able to create unmatched graphics and haptics for a realistic learning experience. Surgical Science acquired Simbionix from 3D Systems in August of 2021.

The company’s education resources are currently used in simulation centers, hospitals, universities, and by medical device partners in over 60 countries, to help medical professionals become more skilled and confident. Headquartered in Göteborg, Sweden, Surgical Science has remained committed to providing state-of-the-art medical training simulators that focus on ease of use and validation for over 20 years.

The company shares, “​​The simple idea is to learn the practical techniques of instrument handling in a realistic but safe environment so that you can pay full attention to the patient when you begin the operation.” Ultimately, the vision is that every patient undergoing a medical procedure is certain that the caregiver is trained and objectively certified in a simulated environment.

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Surgical Science History

According to Surgical Science, in 1995 Dr. Anders Hyltander, a senior GI surgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, believed that novice surgeons could be trained in critical skills and procedures long before entering the operating room. He theorized that real-time simulators could be developed to bridge the gap between classroom pedagogy and patient. Together with three young and skilled software engineers, Dr. Hyltander tested that hypothesis to great success.

Then, in 1999, the quartet founded Surgical Science. After testing their hypothesis, they realized the need for such a comprehensive, dynamic VR simulator to allow laparoscopic surgeons to hone their skills in a safe, rigorous, and progressive environment before operating on patients. Essential cornerstones were identified as being that all simulators must be:

  • Flexible
  • Upgradeable
  • Run on a standard PC
  • Represent state-of-the-art dynamic graphics based on actual surgeries

The company’s first VR simulator, LapSim, was later launched in 2001. Since then, this particular healthcare simulation solution has expanded to include best-in-class procedural clinical simulation for cholecystectomy, appendectomy, advanced suturing and anastomosis, gynecology, hysterectomy, bariatrics, and nephrectomy.

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Dr. Hyltander and his co-founders built Surgical Science with a clear vision – to benefit patients and the medical community by bringing a comprehensive, rigorous, and dynamic instructional system to surgical trainees. With a legacy rooted in surgical medicine and technology development, the company continues to help medical professionals around the world train faster, safer, and more efficiently.

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Today, the company shares that one of the original software engineer founders Anders Larsson, continues his work with Surgical Science as the company’s CTO, driving the technology forward.

Surgical Science Products

LapSim: LapSim is the most comprehensive and only validated simulator on the market that improves medical training and patient outcomes simply and quickly. The solution is an advanced simulator, with detailed graphics, haptic feedback, and a new intuitive interface. The new LapSim 360 VR headset provides a rich and immersive, multi-sensory training experience, unmatched in the VR simulation market.

With the LapSim, users can master fundamental laparoscopic skills and utilize a comprehensive portfolio of well-defined laparoscopic simulation exercises, from basic navigation to advanced suturing. The solution additionally offers real-time feedback for instant learning so residents can focus on the skills they need most making the most of valuable training time.

EndoSim: EndoSim, a cutting-edge flexible endoscopic simulator delivers medical simulation training with detailed graphics, usability, and haptics (tactile feedback). The EndoSim Fundamental Skills module offers a comprehensive portfolio of medical endoscopic simulation training exercises that range from functions of the scope handle and tube to loop reduction. Each exercise is customizable to provide complications and ongoing challenges.

Further, the EndoSim suite of customizable procedure modules provides virtual endoscopic training for medical professionals across multiple disciplines. With clearly defined learning objectives, procedural deconstruction capabilities, variations, and challenges, EndoSim library of software modules provide skill practice essential to building medical proficiency.

TeamSim: TeamSim is a dynamic platform for inter-professional education development taking surgery simulation into real-world teamwork. Using the validated virtual reality training system LapSim as a base, the TeamSim package is the element that lifts team training to new levels: immerse into realistic surgery scenarios while controlling bleeding and complications on the fly.

While innovations in laparoscopic surgical simulators have made an incredible impact on individualized training, there has been a gap between the experience of a single professional standing at the simulator and stepping into a collaborative OR staffed with multiple team members. TeamSim erases that gap by giving the whole OR team the opportunity to practice and refine their communication and non-technical skills without any patient risk.

Simball Box: To learn safe and efficient techniques, Simball Box offers instant feedback on velocity, with tutorial task videos showing a preferred approach. Metrics are collected and visualized in easy-to-understand diagrams, to make progress following and benchmarking performance related to expert levels easier. Simball Box offers surgeons and residents the opportunity to train with their preferred OR instruments and get a sense of the counterintuitive movements, limited space awareness, and reduced tactile feedback that constitute some of the characteristics of laparoscopy.

Simball Box is equipped with a high-definition camera and advanced instrument tracking that provide objective feedback. The data, which are visualized in convenient diagrams, show the economy of movement with a focus on the distance covered by the instruments, making the assessment of a resident’s level of proficiency easier.

Robotic Surgery Simulators: Surgical Science’s robotic surgery simulators are widely recognized in surgical simulation and training – and help teach novices, experienced surgeons, and supporting OR staff the fundamental and advanced skills of robot surgery. The company currently offers two robotic surgery simulators:

  • FlexVR – a portable and flexible robot trainer
  • RobotiX Mentor – the complete training program for robotic surgeons.

Ultimately, Surgical Science’s medical simulators offer clinicians the most realistic hands-on experience in medical training using surgical simulators to perform Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) and interventional procedures, at no patient risk.

“A surgeon or endoscopist should be able to work with instruments in an environment that feels just like that of working on a real patient. There should not be the feeling of a game or artificial environment. Only Surgical Science has worked closely with physicians to develop a continuous improvement of a simulated environment,” said Jeffrey Ponsky, a general surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio. Learn more on the Surgical Science website or by reading the articles below.

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