Navigation Links
Heart surgeons-in-training benefit from hands-on homework

Vancouver Residents in cardiac surgery who receive extra training on a take-home simulator do a better job once they get into the operating room, Dr. Buu-Khanh Lam today told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2011, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Dr. Lam and a multidisciplinary surgical team developed a kit containing sutures, forceps, and miniature tubing that can be taken home by trainees to practice a highly technical operation called microvascular anastomosis. The procedure, which involves joining two arteries together, is the "bread and butter" of coronary artery bypass surgery and is performed hundreds of thousands of times a year in North America, says Dr. Lam, director of surgical undergraduate education at the University of Ottawa and director of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Valve Clinic.

It is difficult for residents to get enough surgical training for such a delicate procedure, he says, because cardiac cases are more complex, there are work hour restrictions for medical professionals, and the medical environment is more litigious. In addition, the high-stress environment of the operating room may not be conducive to the acquisition of a new skill. "We wanted to develop a training strategy so that new surgeons had more opportunities to practice on their own in order to become more proficient in the operating room," he explains.

To date the use of simulation in cardiac surgical training has been limited.

To test the benefits of at-home practice with the device, they recruited 39 first- and second-year surgical trainees. All received traditional tutorials and hands-on sessions. In addition, half of the trainees were also given the kit and asked to practice 10 more times and keep a log of practice hours.

Two weeks later, all trainees returned to the lab to perform a micro-anastomosis under operating room conditions. They were assessed by expert observers who were not aware which of the doctors had done the extra take-home practice. Each received a score based on their surgical skill, technical ability, knowledge of the instruments, quality of the procedure, and the time it took to complete the surgery.

Those who had done the simulator training at home scored higher on all counts.

"The take-home message is that even in a highly specialized environment, deliberate practice has a significant impact on performance," says Dr. Lam. "The more surgeries you perform, the better you are at it. This is the future of cardiac surgery training."

"Canadians are in good hands with our highly skilled cardiac surgeons," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. "This simple training method is an exciting advance because it strengthens the safety net for the large number of people who have vascular surgery each year." Indeed, the leading cause of hospitalization in Canada continues to be heart disease and stroke, accounting for almost 17 per cent of total hospitalizations.

Dr. Abramson says that training, especially in cardiac surgery, requires a very long learning curve. "There are not enough patients for rapid training," she says. "Simulators like those used for pilot training replicate real-life scenarios and conditions in order for trainees to train in all conditions and build their training hours."

"We are producing good, confident surgeons," says Dr. Lam, adding that this extra training in micro-anastomosis can benefit doctors who are doing surgery on arteries elsewhere in the body.


Contact: Amanda Bates
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Related medicine news :

1. ICU Patients at Risk for Rare Heart Rhythm Problem
2. Cook With Love This Valentines Day With Heart-Smart Recipes
3. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
4. Highmark Foundation Awards $120,000 to the American Heart Association
5. Womens Heart Disease Awareness Still Lacking
6. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
7. Migraine Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk
8. PERSONALABS Offers Discounted Healthy Heart Online Blood Tests in February
9. Compound shows promise against intractable heart failure
10. New American Heart Association Survey Finds Heart Disease and Stroke Patients Face Significant Barriers in Obtaining Quality, Affordable Care
11. Ex-President Clinton Undergoes Heart Procedure
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... Pixel Film Studios is back again with ProPanel: Pulse . With ... Users have full control over angle of view, speed method, start point, end point, ... get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers fully customizable pulsating shape masks, all ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed ... As people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other ... are being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The ... of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a ... component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy and across a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", ... delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing ... this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. ... Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial ... conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... --> The purpose of this report is ... global advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, Analyzers), ... Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), and ... report to their offering. --> ... the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: