Surgical Science–Simbionix Robotic Hysterectomy Simulator: Validating a New Tool

Adela G. Cope, Jose J. Lazaro-Weiss, Brooke E. Willborg, Elizabeth D. Lindstrom, Kristin C. Mara, Christopher C. Destephano, Monica Hagan Vetter, Gretchen E. Glaser, Carrie L. Langstraat, Anita H. Chen, Martin A. Martino, Tri A. Dinh, Ritu Salani, Isabel C. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective: To gather validity evidence for and determine acceptability of Surgical Science–Simbionix Hysterectomy Modules for the DaVinci Xi console simulation system (software; 3D Systems by Simbionix [now Surgical Science–Simbionix], Littleton, CO, and hardware; Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) and evaluate performance benchmarks between novice and experienced or expert surgeons. Design: Prospective education study (Messick validity framework). Setting: Multicenter, academic medical institutions. Participants: Residents, fellows, and faculty in obstetrics and gynecology were invited to participate at 3 institutions. Participants were categorized by experience level: fewer than 10 hysterectomies (novice), 10 to 50 hysterectomies (experienced), and more than 50 hysterectomies (expert). A total of 10 novice, 10 experienced, and 14 expert surgeons were included. Interventions: Participants completed 4 simulator modules (ureter identification, bladder flap development, colpotomy, complete hysterectomy) and a qualitative survey. Simulator recordings were reviewed in duplicate by educators in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery using the Modified Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills (GEARS) rating scale. Measurements and Main Results: Most participants felt that the simulator realistically simulated robotic hysterectomy (64.7%) and that feedback provided by the simulator was as or more helpful than feedback from previous simulators (88.2%) but less helpful than feedback provided in the operating room (73.5%). Participants felt that this simulator would be helpful for teaching junior residents. Simulator-generated metrics correlated with GEARS performance for the bladder flap and ureter identification modules in multiple domains including total movements and total time for completion. GEARS performance for the bladder flap module correlated with experience level (novice vs experienced/expert) in the domains of interest and total score but did not consistently correlate for the other procedural modules. Performance benchmarks were evaluated for the bladder flap module for each GEARS domain and total score. Conclusion: The modules were well received by participants of all experience levels. Individual simulation modules appear to better discriminate between novice and experienced/expert users than overall simulator performance. Based on these data and participant feedback, the use of individual modules in early residency education may be helpful for providing feedback and may ultimately serve as 1 component of determining readiness to perform robotic hysterectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-766
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills
  • Robotic hysterectomy
  • Robotic surgery
  • Simulation
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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