Role of virtual reality in improving the spatial perception of the kidney during flexible ureteroscopy: A feasibility study using virtual reality simulators and 3D models.

The aims were to describe a software-based reconstruction of the patient-specific kidney cavity intraluminal appearance via a head-mounted device and to estimate its feasibility for training novices.

In total, 15 novices were recruited. Each novice was shown a three-dimensional reconstruction of a patient's computed tomography scan, whose kidney was printed. They then joined the surgeon in the operating room and assisted them in detecting the stone during flexible ureteroscopy on the printed model. Then, each participant did a 7-day virtual reality (VR) study followed by virtual navigation of the printed kidney model and came to the operating room to help the surgeon with ureteroscope navigation. The length of the procedure and the number of attempts to find the targeted calyx were compared.

With VR training, the length of the procedure (p = 0.0001) and the number of small calyces that were incorrectly identified as containing stones were significantly reduced (p = 0.0001). All the novices become highly motivated to improve their endourological skills further. Participants noticed minimal values for nausea and for disorientation. However, oculomotor-related side effects were defined as significant. Five specialists noticed a good similarity between the VR kidney cavity representation and the real picture, strengthening the potential for the novice's education via VR training.

Virtual reality simulation allowed for improved spatial orientation within the kidney cavity by the novices and could be a valuable option for future endourological training and curricula.

Current urology. 2023 Jun 01 [Epub]

Ali Talyshinskii, Bm Zeeshan Hameed, Ulanbek Zhanbyrbekuly, Mesrur Selcuk Silay, Nithesh Naik, Milap Shah, Anshuman Singh, Bakhman Guliev, Patrick Juliebø-Jones, Bhaskar Kumar Somani

Department of Urology, Astana Medical University, Astana, Kazakhstan., Department of Urology, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India., Department of Urology, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey., Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India., Department of Urology, Aarogyam Hospital, Ahmedabad, India., Department of Urology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India., Department of Urology, Mariinsky Hospital; Saint Petersburg, Russia., Department of Urology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway., Department of Urology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, Southampton, UK.