Simulation center set for virtual hysteroscopic training

Dr. Larry Glazerman, director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at USF Health, teaches fellow OB-GYN faculty member Dr. Amanda Alvelo-Malina how to use the new hysteroscopic simulator.

The USF Health Simulation Center at Tampa General Hospital recently added a state-of-the-art hysteroscopy simulator to its growing collection of high-fidelity simulators that allow physicians and other health professionals to practice clinical skills in a controlled setting, without risk to patients.

“USF Health now has the only hysteroscopy simulator in North America,” said Deborah Sutherland, PhD, associate vice president for USF Health and associate dean of the Continuing Professional Development Program.

Larry Glazerman, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at USF Health, will use the new VirtaMed HystSim system to help teach hysteroscopic procedures to OB-GYN residents and physicians at USF. He will also train other physicians who come to the USF Health Simulation Center for continuing medical education courses, including the Inaugural Advanced Laparoscopic Gynecologic Surgery Conference in March. USF Health will collaborate with VirtaMed to conduct validation studies investigating the value of simulation training in improving endoscopic surgical skills.

The VirtaMed HystSim, a comprehensive hands-on training system for hysteroscopy, lets physicians look inside the uterus to diagnose and treat certain problems such as intrauterine fibroids and polyps, adhesions and abnormal bleeding. Hysteroscopy is performed without incisions — using a thin, lighted tube inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus. If diagnostic hysteroscopy detects a problem, the physician may be able to insert small instruments through the hysteroscope to correct the abnormal condition (known as operative hysteroscopy).

The physicians practice removing a fibroid from inside the uterus.

“This simulator allows gynecologists and residents to learn and practice hysteroscopic techniques and receive objective performance feedback before applying these diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to patients,” Dr. Glazerman said.

VirtaMed, a Swiss start-up company with an interdisciplinary background in medicine and engineering, provides medical professionals a state-of-the-art training tool for endoscopic surgery with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of patient care.

When fully equipped this spring, the USF Health Simulation Center will house a comprehensive variety of advanced simulators, including those offering hands-on training for individuals or teams in endovascular, laparoscopic, GI and endourologic procedures. For more information or training on any simulators at the new center, please contact Stephanie McKown, RN, at (813) 844-3436 or

Dr. Glazerman prepares for the surgical simulator training demonstration as, left to right, Dr. Alvelo-Malina, Stephanie McKown, RN, and Stefan Tuchschmid, CEO for VirtaMed, observe.

– Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications
– Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications