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Multi-institutional Testing Of A 3D Printed Cleft Lip Model For Plastic Surgical Training
Edward Nahabet, MD1, Anthony A. Bertrand, MD, MBA1, Raquel Ulma, MD, DDS1, Miles J. Pfaff, MD1, Julia R. Ayeroff, BA1, Hannah Riedle, MS2, Hi'ilani M.K. Potemra, BS1, Johnny Lin, PhD3, Jorg E. franke, PhD2, Russell R. Reid, MD, PhD4, Justine C. Lee, MD, PhD1.
1University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2Institute for Factory Automation, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany, 3Institute for Digital Research and Education, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 4Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

PURPOSE: Surgical simulation has garnered increasing interest and become an adjunct for surgical training in recent years. For rare surgical pathologies, simulation allows trainees to increase their confidence, understanding and technical skills. Yet, quantitative data on the efficacy of surgical simulation is fairly sparse. We investigated the impact of a cleft lip repair simulation course using a 3D-printed model on plastic surgery training.
METHODS: A 3D-printed, unilateral, complete cleft lip and palate model was developed and incorporated into a proctored simulation laboratory course at two plastic surgery training programs. Examinations were distributed before and after the laboratory to assess residentsí confidence and surgical knowledge. Sub-group analyses were performed based on training level, the number of prior cleft cases performed, and the number of operative and non-operative hours training on cleft repairs. RESULTS: Trainees collectively exhibited significant improvements in their overall knowledge (p<0.001), confidence describing (p=0.02), and confidence performing (p<0.001) the operation. Upon sub-group analysis, significant improvements in subjective measures of confidence were observed in all experience levels. The residents with the least experience with cleft lip repairs demonstrated the largest increases in overall knowledge, equalizing the differences in knowledge compared to their more experienced cohorts following completion of the laboratory.
CONCLUSION: A surgical simulation lab utilizing a 3D-printed, unilateral complete cleft lip and palate model significantly improved confidence describing and performing the procedure as well as overall knowledge. The significant improvements in knowledge among less experienced trainees suggest that simulation may be a useful method for equalizing discrepancies in experience.


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