Surgical simulation in robot-assisted thoracic surgery: patient safety
Robot-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) procedures have been increasingly performed at various centers worldwide. Considerable proficiency and thorough preoperative evaluations are required to fully take advantage of RATS. Surgical simulation could help fulfill these preconditions through surgical training, preoperative planning and intraoperative navigation. We reviewed current publications of surgical simulations in RATS and discuss their benefits in patient safety. Overall, the current studies demonstrated that surgical simulation experienced a potential benefit in RATS in terms of rationalization of surgical design, accurate preoperative and intraoperative confirmation of anatomical structure, and improvement of clinical performance, all of which improved the surgical outcome and patient safety. More multicenter prospective studies are required to further prove the benefits of surgical simulation in improving patient safety in RATS.