Virtual reality surgery promotes patient engagement in surgical planning

At JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, patients can have a 360-degree, three-dimensional (3D) tour of the inside of their own bodies before surgery with the help of virtual reality technology at the center's Neuroscience Institute, USA Today’s reported on Jan. 31.

Prior to surgery, patient's receive a virtual tour of their imaging scans which have been transformed into 3D images in order to advance navigation capabilities and precision for surgeons, and to help the patient better understand their own anatomy and pathology before undergoing a procedure, according to the article.  

The tours use the Virtual Reality Medical Visualization platform developed by the company Surgical Theater. The technology includes a headset and joystick for patients and surgeons to navigate the 3D images.

“This 360-degree visual representation gives patients and their families an informative and deep understanding of their condition by visually answering questions about surgical approaches and other medical concerns,” Thomas Steineke, MD, PhD, a pediatric neurosurgeon and chairman of the JFK’s Neuroscience Institute, told the media outlet. “The technology adds a level of precision that we didn’t have with previous 2D platforms and enables us to practice and better plan surgeries in advance, which ultimately leads to safer operations and improved outcomes.”  

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