Minimally invasive, or “keyhole” surgery, uses an endoscope, a lighted tube with a magnifying camera, inserted through small incisions. It now accounts for a significant percentage of all operations, ranging from gallbladder surgery (the most common) to heart bypasses. In addition to providing excellent service and care for our patients, it is important to us that our patients are informed patients. Through handouts, Web pages, and personal interaction, the Center tries to educate patients about the procedures they will undergo in terms they can understand. Informing patients is just one of the Center's educational missions.
The Center has set a goal to become one of the top-ranked teaching programs in the country. We have instituted an aggressive training program for our residents that includes a state-of-the-art teaching laboratory. The laboratory features skills training stations that reproduce actual operating room conditions, access to a catalogued video library of actual procedures, and constantly updated computer training materials. One of our projects is an immersive 3D minimally invasive surgery training environment that includes feedback and real-time performance evaluation. Interactive video technology and wireless handheld computer technology is also used to beam endoscopic surgeries performed at UK to sites all over the world for training and international conference purposes. The Center benefits all levels of students from medical and nursing students to practicing surgeons, not only in Kentucky but also worldwide.
Research is another key component of the Center. Studies will compare new minimally invasive techniques with traditional techniques in respect to recovery time and economic impact. Developments in new technologies, such as more sophisticated instrumentation and imaging techniques, are also part of the Center's research focus.
As a result of the creation of this comprehensive Center, Kentuckians are in a unique situation in the country, with access to the latest in minimally invasive therapy across the spectrum — vascular surgery, transplants, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, urology, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiothoracic surgery, and general and pediatric surgery. The UK Center for Advanced Training and Simulation is proud of past accomplishments and is prepared and eager for the challenges of the future.