AR Navigation Assists in Bone Tumor Resection

From VR Medicine News–A new study sought to determine whether AR-based navigation assistance can improve bone tumor resection using a pig femur model system. Out of 133 pig femurs, 82 were used with AR-assistance (164 resections) and 41 with the conventional method (82 resections). The study found a lower mean error (1.71 mm vs 2.64 mm) and improved surgical margin (90.2% vs 70.7%) with the use of AR-assistance compared to the conventional method. The authors assert that this novel AR navigation system is accurate and cost-effective. Whether the AR-assistance improves outcomes has not been determined.

H. S. Cho, Y. K. Park, S. Gupta, C. Yoon, I. Han, H-S. Kim, H. Choi, J. Hong. Augmented reality in bone tumour resection: An experimental study. Bone Joint Res 2017;6:137-143.

Using Smartphones to Improve Aneurysm Surgery

From VR Medicine News–A new study aimed to determine if a smartphone can be used to view 3D cerebral angiograms to improve orientation in aneurysm surgery. In this study the smartphone is connected wirelessly to a monitor and is used to control the images viewed therein. The surgeons and operating staff benefited from this method in certain circumstances. Further research is needed to determine if this method provides benefit to the patient. “The implementation is practical, using easily available hardware and software, in most neurosurgical centers worldwide. The method and concept have potential for further development,” the author concludes.

Eftekhar B. Smartphone as a Remote Touchpad to Facilitate Visualization of 3D  Cerebral Angiograms during Aneurysm Surgery. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg.

VR Simulation Can Help in Training for Cochlear Implant Surgery

From VR Medicine News–A new study sought to determine whether cochlear implant surgery training can be performed using a VR temporal bone simulator. Simulated surgeries were performed by 12 otolaryngology registrars, who received automated feedback on their performance. The participants were found to have improved cochlear surgical skill after engaging in the VR simulation. “The results of the study indicate that VR simulation with automated guidance can effectively be used to train surgeons in complex temporal bone surgeries such as cochlear implantation,” the authors conclude.

Copson B, Wijewickrema S, Zhou Y, et al. Supporting skill acquisition in cochlear implant surgery through virtual reality simulation. Cochlear Implants Int. 2017;18:89-96.

A New Way to Learn Surgery With VR

A new study aimed to develop a new way to learn surgical techniques using VR simulation. Immersive 3D video was captured during 20 surgical performances by experienced surgeons and students were able to observe and learn from these films using a VR headset. Whether this method provides measurable benefit to surgical students has not yet been determined. “This new approach enhances the understanding of surgery; most of the surgeons appreciated its pedagogic value. This method could be an effective learning tool in the future,” the authors conclude.

Ros M, Trives JV, Lonjon N. From stereoscopic recording to virtual reality headsets: Designing a new way to learn surgery. Neurochirurgie. 2017;16:1-5.

Virtual Reality and Phantom Limb Pain

From VR Medicine News–A recent review article aimed to synthesize the current research on the treatment of phantom limb pain (PLP) using immersive VR and AR. The review analyzed 8 studies, and found improvement of pain with VR and AR treatment for PLP. Simulator sickness was the only adverse effect observed, and occurred only in one trial for one patient. However, due to the low quality of evidence in the studies reviewed, “the current use of VR and AR for PLP management, while attractive due to the increasing levels of immersion, customizable environments, and decreasing cost, is yet to be fully proven,” the authors note.

Dunn J, Yeo E, Moghaddampour P, Chau B, Humbert S. Virtual and augmented reality in the treatment of phantom limb pain: A literature review. NeuroRehabilitation. 2017. http://content.iospress.com/articles/neurorehabilitation/nre1447.

A Novel Augmented Reality System to Improve Maxillofacial Surgery

From VR Medicine News–Researchers have designed a navigation system for maxillofacial surgery based on augmented reality (AR). By using CT data, the 3D environment can be tracked by AR software. By using an occlusal splint compounded with a fiducial marker, the authors were able to superimpose a virtual image onto the real environment, creating an “integrated image” on semi-transparent glass. Clinical use of the novel AR system produced good surgical outcomes. “The augmented reality system that we established for maxillofacial surgery has the advantages of easy manipulation and high accuracy, which can improve surgical outcomes,” the authors conclude.

Zhu M, Liu F, Chai G, Pan JJ, Jiang T, Lin L, Xin Y, Zhang Y, Li Q. A novel augmented reality system for displaying inferior alveolar nerve bundles in maxillofacial surgery. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 15;7:42365.

Applications of AR and VR in Neurosurgery

From VR Medicine News–Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles have reviewed the status of AR and VR in neurosurgery practice. They also discuss emerging applications of this technology in this field.

Pelargos PE, Nagasawa DT, Lagman C, et al. Utilizing virtual and augmented reality for educational and clinical enhancements in neurosurgery. J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Jan;35:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2016.09.002.

Article Reviews the Role of AR in Laparoscopy

Here are the highlights according to the authors:

  • We review the state of the art about laparoscopic augmented reality with 270+ recent references.
  • We highlight that most methods consist in a static registration followed by augmentation updates.
  • We propose a clear classification of all methods and weigh pros and cons for each of them.
  • This survey is comprehensive and self-contained thanks to various backgrounds on related topics.

Bernhardt S, Nicolau SA, Soler L, Doignon C. The status of augmented reality in laparoscopic surgery as of 2016. Med Image Anal. 2017 Jan 24;37:66-90. doi: 10.1016/j.media.2017.01.007.