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An Expeditious Method of Constructing Low-Cost, Durable, CT- and US-Compatible Gynecological Training Phantoms for Instruction of Medical Residents in High Dose Rate Brachytherapy Clinical Practice

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K Nattagh

K Nattagh*, I-C Hsu, D Saltiel, T Siauw, J A M Cunha, UC San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

SU-D-108-4 Sunday 2:05PM - 3:00PM Room: 108

PURPOSE:
During gynecological (GYN) brachytherapy (BT), suturing the cervix and inserting the applicator into the uterine canal are highly skill dependent tasks. Medical residents often have to practice these techniques in the operating room; this can be sub-optimal for the patient. We present a fast and low-cost method of building realistic, gelatin based GYN phantoms which can be used to train physicians new to GYN BT.

METHODS
The phantoms include a rectal cavity large enough to accommodate a standard transrectal US probe, a vaginal cavity, a uterus, a cervix, and a cervical canal, all embedded in a gelatin matrix. The uterus and cervix were coated with latex to create a suturing surface and to provide US contrast. The inner gelatine surface of the rectal cavity was hardened to make it resilient to probe insertions. The gelatine uterus was softened to give it more anatomically correct tactile properties. Construction times and materials costs were recorded for each phantom.

RESULTS
Active participation build time is 8 hours; however, due to the time necessary for curing between construction steps, the total build time is approximately 3 days. Re-usable parts allows for a reduction in time for subsequent phantoms (10 hours total, with an active participation time of 4 hours). Anatomical structures were easily distinguishable in CT and US. The cervix was sutured by a practicing brachytherapist who judged it as effective and realistic.

CONCLUSIONS
A method and recipe for quickly constructing low cost, durable US- and CT-compatible GYN BT practice phantoms was developed. These phantoms will be integrated into the training of our medical residents during their GYN brachytherapy rotation.

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