UF College of Medicine physicians and students use simulation software to remain on the cutting-edge of surgical procedures.
University of Florida College of Medicine physicians are teaming up with mathematicians and physicists to create a new way to prepare surgeons for medical procedures.
Using CT scans, simulated surgical tools and mathematical equations, surgeons practice each stage of a surgical procedure by performing the steps on an exact virtual replica of a patient’s body. These computer programs are also utilized by UF College of Medicine faculty surgeons to teach and train medical students. Some procedures even include handheld tools to familiarize students with the actual feel of each step.
“Simulation of surgical procedures is absolutely critical to the future of surgery, as it provides new avenues of training while enhancing patient safety,” said former surgery chairman William G. Cance, M.D. “As a department, we have taken a multifaceted approach to simulation, taking advantage of the expertise in our department as well as the UF expertise in computer engineering and mathematics.”
The new technology will allow medical students who hope to one day become surgeons and seasoned surgeons alike to improve training. The use of this new technology has one main benefit in mind — increased patient safety. Using virtual surgeries as practice will afford surgeons with extra experience that was previously unavailable to them.
“No pilot can fly without spending many hours flying on a simulator,” said Sergei Kurenov, M.S, a computer simulation expert who leads the UF department of surgery’s surgical simulation group. “For me the vision is the same — a surgeon would not go into the operating room without first training with a computer simulator.”
As the University of Florida’s Academic Health Science Center, UF Health is on the forefront of researching and developing technological advances such as this. Through gifts from donors, the College of Medicine is able to improve the education of physicians and, in turn, the quality of care for patients.