Virtual reality simulator helps teach surgery for brain cancer
A new virtual reality simulator—including sophisticated 3-D graphics and tactile feedback—provides neurosurgery trainees with valuable opportunities to practice essential skills and techniques for brain cancer surgery, according to a paper in the September issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
The prototype system, called "NeuroTouch," uses 3-D graphics and haptic (sense of touch) technology to provide a realistic look and feel for practice in performing common tasks in brain cancer surgery. Lead author Sébastien Delorme, PhD, of the National Research Council Canada and colleagues believe the NeuroTouch system could enhance "acquisition and assessment of technical skills" for neurosurgeons in training.
System Simulates Common Neurosurgery Tasks and Tools
The NeuroTouch system was developed by a team of more than 50 experts from the National Research Council Canada, with input from surgeons at more than 20 Canadian teaching hospitals. The goal was to design a simulation system to provide neurosurgical trainees with opportunities to practice basic surgical skills.
The NeuroTouch software produces 3-D graphics, simulating what the neurosurgeon sees through the operating microscope during surgery—including detailed, lifelike renderings of brain tissue, blood vessels, and tumors. The system also includes haptic tool manipulators, providing tactile feedback similar to what the surgeon would feel during surgery. The simulator runs on computers that, while powerful, are similar to those used to run popular games.
The researchers designed training tasks to simulate common neurosurgery procedures using the NeuroTouch. In one task, the surgeon is to remove brain tumor while leaving normal tissues intact, using two different suction devices. In this simulation, the system provides touch and visual cues to discriminate between healthy tissue and brain tumor.
In the other task, the surgeon must remove a vascularized (supplied with blood) tumor while controlling blood loss. The blood vessels and tissues look realistic, including normal pulsations. The vessels bleed when the surgeon applies a cutting tool and stop bleeding when he or she uses a simulated cautery tool.
Both tasks were developed using 3D reconstructions of magnetic resonance imaging scan data from actual patients. With further development, the system may be used not only to practice basic procedures, but even to allow neurosurgeons to simulate and practice actual operations, based on the patient's own MRI scan.
During the development process, the researchers received feedback through an advisory network of teaching hospitals. The 3-D visual graphics received high praise, although the tactile feedback system came in for more criticism. Surgeons testing the system also suggested improvements to the ergonomics of using the simulator.
Neurosurgical residency training programs are challenged to make the most of their resources while maximizing training opportunities for residents. About 90 percent of surgical training is received in the operating room, where residents learn procedures by assisting surgeons with hundreds of operations.
Medical simulators—similar to those used to train airline pilots—are increasingly viewed as a cost-effective complement to traditional surgical training. For example, a commercially available simulator has proven effective in helping trainees perform minimally invasive gallbladder surgery more rapidly, with a lower risk of patient injury.
The NeuroTouch system appears to be a promising tool for extending virtual reality technology to teaching common and important neurosurgery techniques. While it is not the first neurosurgical simulator, it provides key advances over previous systems, particularly in terms of providing real-time graphics and tactile feedback.
The next step will be to evaluate the new system in actual neurosurgical training programs. "First generation NeuroTouch prototypes have been set up in 7 teaching hospitals across Canada, to be used for beta testing and validation and evaluated for integration in a neurosurgery training curriculum," according to Dr. Delorme and colleagues, and a new generation of NeuroTouch simulators is currently being deployed worldwide.
Journal reference: Neurosurgery
Provided by Wolters Kluwer Health
- 'Virtual operating room' to sharpen surgeons' smarts and skills Dec 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Designing touch-sensitive virtual reality tools to train and test tomorrow's surgeons Jul 15, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers develop better training for keyhole surgery Mar 31, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Can you feel the force? Aug 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Surgeon-engineer team produce training software for robot-assisted surgery Jun 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
20 minutes ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing throught optical system of thick lenses
29 minutes ago Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
Faraday's law on circular wire
1 hour ago In my examples on Faraday's law in my book, they use a drawing of a magnet approaching a circular wire. The changing magnetic flux then induces an...
Specific Exergy vs Specific Flow Exergy
2 hours ago I'm having some difficulty understanding exactly what the difference between the definitions of these values are. As I understand it, in terms of...
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
11 hours ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
Is energy convertible to matter?
12 hours ago Can we convert energy to matter?
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(AP)—Doctors in Poland say they have performed an urgent total face transplant on a 33-year-old man whose face was torn off in an accident which also crushed his jaws.
Surgery 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Surgeons investigated sexual function in 62 patients, 50 years and older, who had received extensive spinal–pelvic instrumentation for spinal deformity at the University of Virginia Health Center. Based on their results, ...
Surgery 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Physicians at Monash University and The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia describe the logistic, medical, and societal challenges faced in treating spine trauma in morbidly obese patients. Based on a case series of ...
Surgery 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Arachnoid cysts are a common type of brain lesion that is usually harmless, but with a risk of rupture or bleeding. A new study identifies risk factors for rupture or bleeding in children with "incidentally" detected arachnoid ...
Surgery 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Posterior fossa subdural hematoma (PFSDH) is a serious and rare condition in newborns, generally occurring after difficult deliveries. But with appropriate treatment, there's an excellent chance of good long-term outcomes ...
Surgery May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
58 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A report published today shows a 2.6% decrease in the amount of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland in the year following the introduction of the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act in October 2011.
28 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—High blood pressure is something that has traditionally been a problem in Scotland, but might there be a link to our climate?
18 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.
8 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The University of Gothenburg Vaccine Research Institute (GUVAX) announces successful results in a placebo controlled phase I study of an oral, inactivated Escherichia coli diarrhea vaccine.
48 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Preschoolers universally recognize that one's choices are not always free – that our decisions may be constrained by social obligations to be nice to others or follow rules set by parents ...
58 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0