dV-Trainer vs. da Vinci Simulator: Comparison of Virtual Reality Platforms for Robotic Surgery

Sarwat B. Ahmad, Mary Joe Rice, Cecilia Chang, Amer H. Zureikat, Herbert J. Zeh, Melissa E. Hogg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: A virtual reality (VR) curriculum performed on the da Vinci Simulation System (DVSS) was previously shown to be effective in training fellows. The dV-Trainer is a separate platform with similar features to the da Vinci console, but its efficacy and utility versus the DVSS simulator are not well known. Materials and Methods: A mastery-based VR curriculum was completed by surgical fellows on the DVSS (2014-2016) and on the dV-Trainer (2016-2018) at a large academic center. Pre-test/post-test scores were used to evaluate performance between the two groups. Data was collected prospectively. Results: Forty-six fellows enrolled in the curriculum: surgical oncology (n=31), hepatobiliary (n=5), head/neck (n=4), endocrine (n=2), cardiothoracic (n=2), gynecology (n=1) and transplant surgery (n=1). Twenty-four used the DVSS and twenty-two used the dV-Trainer. Compared to the DVSS, the dV-Trainer was associated with lower scores on 2 of 3 VR modules in the pre-test (P=0.027, P<0.001, respectively) and post-test (P=0.021, P<0.001, respectively). Fellows in the dV-Trainer era scored lower on inanimate drills as well. Average VR curriculum score was lower on the dV-Trainer (71.3% vs 83.34%, P<0.001). dV-Trainer users spent more time completing the pre-test and post-test; however, overall simulator time to complete the curriculum was not significantly different (297 vs 231 minutes, P=0.142). Both groups showed improvement in scores after completion of the VR curriculum. Conclusions: The dV-Trainer simulator allows for more usability outside the operating room to complete VR modules; however, the DVSS simulator group outperformed the dV-Trainer group on the post-test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-704
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Mastery-based assessment
  • Robotic training
  • Simulation
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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