Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a widespread approach in general surgery. Computer guiding software, such as the augmented reality (AR), the virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR), has been proposed to help surgeons during MIS. This study aims to report these technologies' current knowledge and diffusion during surgical training in Italy. A web-based survey was developed under the aegis of the Italian Society of Endoscopic Surgery (SICE). Two hundred and seventeen medical doctors' answers were analyzed. Participants were surgeons (138, 63.6%) and residents in surgery (79, 36.4%). The mean knowledge of the role of the VR, AR and MR in surgery was 4.9 +/- 2.4 (range 1-10). Most of the participants (122, 56.2%) did not have experience with any proposed technologies. However, although the lack of experience in this field, the answers about the functioning of the technologies were correct in most cases. Most of the participants answered that VR, AR and MR should be used more frequently for the teaching and training and during the clinical activity (170, 80.3%) and that such technologies would make a significant contribution, especially in training (183, 84.3%) and didactic (156, 71.9%). Finally, the main limitations to the diffusion of these technologies were the insufficient knowledge (182, 83.9%) and costs (175, 80.6%). Based on the present study, in Italy, the knowledge and dissemination of these technologies are still limited. Further studies are required to establish the usefulness of AR, VR and MR in surgical training.
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