BACKGROUND:Skull base anatomy through a transsphenoidal approach is challenging for the neurosurgical resident to conquer.OBJECTIVE:To demonstrate that stereolithography, or 3-dimensional (3-D) printing, is a useful educational tool for neurosurgery residents to learn skull base anatomy.METHODS:Before any formal teaching, residents were brought into the operating room where they were asked to identify key structures seen through an endoscopic transsphenoidal approach. Scoring was based on correctly naming the anatomical structures. After the initial testing, all residents participated in a didactic lecture reviewing this anatomy by using 2-dimensional pictures. Residents were then divided into 2 groups: A and B. Group B residents were additionally taught through neurosurgical simulation using a 3-D printed model and an endoscope. Following all formal teaching, residents were retested in the operating room.RESULTS:A maximum score of 8 points was possible if all structures were identified correctly. Group A had mean scores of 2.75 on initial testing compared with 5 after the lecture (P = .041 using 2-tailed t test). Group B had mean scores of 2.75 on initial testing compared with 7.5 after the lecture and 3-D model simulation (P = .002). When comparing mean scores after formal teaching in groups A and B, 5 vs 7.5 were obtained for lecture only vs lecture and 3-D model simulation, respectively (P = .031).CONCLUSION:Three-dimensional models used in neurosurgical simulation to teach skull base anatomy through a transsphenoidal approach showed objective and subjective improvement in testing scores in neurosurgery residents. This study confirms that 3-D models are a useful educational tool.
Operative Neurosurgery – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2016
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