It is indeed a special privilege and pleasure to introduce readers to this issue about current status of surgical simulation in minimally invasive surgery including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robot-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS). Surgical simulation has come to the forefront of resident training and preoperative planning for minimally invasive surgery in recent years since it shortens learning curves involved in developing new skills and can improve patient outcomes. Technology developments of simulators with advances in three-dimensional (3D) image processing and integration of data manipulation that provides high-quality virtual reality create an ideal environment for inexperienced physicians to learn new procedures and realistic models of surgical catastrophes without compromising patient safety. The traditional apprenticeship model of surgical training has been changed radically since reductions in duty hours have reduced training opportunities for young surgeons. Instead, the rise in simulation-based learning environment allows them to practice both basic and advanced VATS and robotic surgical skills in a setting outside of the operating rooms. In the context, I would like to focus on the current and future application of a variety of novel surgical simulation techniques and state-of-the-art 3D imaging modalities for the safety and efficiency of VATS and RATS with contributing authors with their extensive expertise in the field of surgical simulations in thoracic surgery.
Cite this article as: Shimada Y. Establishment of video-assisted and robot-assisted thoracic surgery training platform with surgical simulations for the new generation of thoracic surgeons. Video-assist Thorac Surg 2018;3:32.