New Training Tool Touted for Canadian Surgeons

PEA surgery involves a heart-lung bypass, full cardiac arrest, and deep hypothermia. "The simulator may reduce the training time for residents by up to six months," said Dr. Marc de Perrot, a thoracic surgeon at UHN – Toronto General Hospital who worked with the council and Bayer to develop the simulator.

The National Research Council of Canada, supported by Bayer Inc. through an innovation fund, has developed a first-of-its-kind pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) surgery simulator that it believes has the potential to improve the quality of life for thousands of Canadian patients. The new 3D device will allow doctors to train more effectively to perform surgery in cases of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a rare disease caused by chronic blood clots in the lungs.

The disease is underdiagnosed; there may be several thousand cases in Canada. About 80 percent of CTEPH patients are eligible for the technically complex PEA surgery but just three centers in the country perform it and only a few surgeons in Canada currently have that expertise, according to the council. The first simulator is now in operation at the Toronto Western Hospital, creating a training center for surgical residents.

"Bayer is honored to collaborate with the National Research Council to develop this innovative surgery simulator," said Alok Kanti, president and CEO of Bayer Inc. Canada. "Bayer is dedicated to delivering innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for Canadians, and this surgery simulator will do just that for many Canadians with CTEPH."

"The National Research Council developed one more tool to help Canadian doctors better serve their patients," added Roman Szumski, vice president, Life Sciences for the council. "Our expertise makes us a unique collaborator for companies developing simulators for doctors and healthcare practitioners to perform complex and challenging medical techniques."

PEA surgery involves a heart-lung bypass, full cardiac arrest, and deep hypothermia. "The simulator may reduce the training time for residents by up to six months," said Dr. Marc de Perrot, a thoracic surgeon at UHN – Toronto General Hospital who worked with the council and Bayer to develop the simulator.

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