Letter to the editor: The use of workshops and courses in microneurosurgery training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with a Latin American and Peruvian perspective
- School of Medicine, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
- Sociedad Científica de Estudiantes de Medicina de la Universidad Nacional de Trujilla, Nacional University of Trujillo, Trujillo, Peru
- Sociedad Científica de Estudiantes de Medicina de Ica, Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga, Ica, Peru
- Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital Nacional Daniel Alcides Carrión, Bellavista, Lima, Peru.
Martha I. Vilca-Salas, School of Medicine, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
DOI:10.25259/SNI_871_2023Copyright: © 2023 Surgical Neurology International This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
How to cite this article: Vilca-Salas MI1, Cabrera-Cruzado C2, Rios-Garcia W3, Alvarez-Rojas AA1, Uscamayta-Cabrera MX1, Riveros-Ruiz J4. Letter to the editor: The use of workshops and courses in microneurosurgery training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with a Latin American and Peruvian perspective. Surg Neurol Int 29-Dec-2023;14:445
How to cite this URL: Vilca-Salas MI1, Cabrera-Cruzado C2, Rios-Garcia W3, Alvarez-Rojas AA1, Uscamayta-Cabrera MX1, Riveros-Ruiz J4. Letter to the editor: The use of workshops and courses in microneurosurgery training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with a Latin American and Peruvian perspective. Surg Neurol Int 29-Dec-2023;14:445. Available from: https://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint-articles/12693/
Education in neurosurgical skills is essential for training neurosurgeons and neurosurgery residents, and it is primarily acquired through operating room experience. However, it is necessary to supplement this training with workshops and courses in micro neurosurgery that involve cadaveric dissections, the use of surgical simulators, and synthetic models, among other methods.[
In more developed countries, the implementation of these workshops is more feasible due to their greater resources and accessibility. For example, in Spain, the 3D Neuroanatomy project was developed by the neurosurgery department of the General University Hospital of Alicante. This project focuses on creating three-dimensional cinematic presentations of neuroanatomical dissections and offers workshops with various neurosurgical approaches. They also have a digital platform (available at
The situation differs in LMICs, where economic, technical, and bureaucratic limitations often prevent frequent workshops. In response to this, some LMICs receive support from organizations like the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies through corporations like UpSurgeOn, a nonprofit project (available at:
Establishing private academic centers that organize neurosurgical workshops is equally important, as seen in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and Cote d’Ivoire, where private training centers for micro neurosurgery with cadavers exist.[
We can highlight advances in developing micro neurosurgical workshops and courses in Latin America. In Mexico, as part of their pre-congress course before the Mexican Congress of Neurological Surgery in 2023 (organized by the Mexican Society of Neurological Surgery), a workshop using anatomical cadaveric models was held in a surgical laboratory available in the country. The 2023 Mexican Congress of Neurological Surgery also included a microsurgery workshop.[
The main challenge in implementing micro neurosurgery workshops and courses in Peru lies in the costs associated with acquiring suitable facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, specialized surgical materials, and anatomical specimens of proper quality and preservation. Despite these limitations, some small advancements have been made in recent years in incorporating microneurosurgery training into residency programs. The first neurosurgical training center in Peru is located at the Instituto Nacional del Niño de San Borja, where several courses are offered in various specialties, including neurosurgery. In addition, the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos has included a course in microsurgical techniques in the 5th year of the neurosurgery-specialty curriculum, which is conducted at the previously mentioned center. Another progress was the establishment of neurosurgical practice workshops in the first high-specialty neurosurgical center at the EsSalud Hospital located in Trujillo, Peru, in 2014, with the collaboration of doctors from Finland and Japan.[
Aside from international collaboration, in Peru, the organization of neurosurgery workshops and courses largely depends on the university that oversees the residency program in question and the resources it manages. As an example of this, neurosurgery residents at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia program have the opportunity to participate in workshops using UpSurgeon’s virtual reality equipment, making it the first Peruvian residency program to offer a simulation center aimed at training aspiring neurosurgeons.[
Interest in training in this field is growing worldwide and should serve as a call to action for neurosurgery residency programs, especially in LMIC environments. The goal is to promote the education of neurosurgery residents through procedure simulation and the enhancement of their manual dexterity. This can be achieved by exchanging experiences between national and international professionals searching for cost-effective options for simulating neurosurgical practice, support from international organizations, and fundraising.
Likewise, a micro neurosurgical training program maximizes the potential for learning these types of surgeries by providing a better understanding of surgical approaches and enhancing residents’ self-esteem and surgical skills. Beyond the ability to learn more in less time and transfer acquired knowledge from a laboratory to an operating room, it reduces the stressful environment of a real operating room and the potential legal issues by minimizing the risk of harm to patients.[
The key to fostering the development of micro neurosurgery workshops and courses lies in organizing them as part of a formal training program or incorporating them into the residency program curriculum; this would ensure that training is continuous rather than sporadic.
Institutional Review Board approval is not required.
Patient’s consent was not required as there are no patients in this study.
Publication of this article was made possible by the James I. and Carolyn R. Ausman Educational Foundation.
There are no conflicts of interest.
The authors confirm that there was no use of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology for assisting in the writing or editing of the manuscript and no images were manipulated using AI.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Journal or its management. The information contained in this article should not be considered to be medical advice; patients should consult their own physicians for advice as to their specific medical needs.
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