A New Solution: Virtual Reality in Preoperative Planning

Nowadays, with the development of spinal surgery technology, finding new solution for the preoperative planning to increase the rate of surgical success and decrease the rate of complications have become the hot spot. Virtual Reality, an emerging technology, capable of reconstructing an interactive 3D anatomical model that can be freely explored to promote the operation to proceed. Besides, the use of VR can significantly decrease in operative time and blood loss.

Spine surgery is characterized by a high risk of morbidity, due to the close relationship with important neurovascular structures, which can lead to neurological and vascular defects as well as infection and instrumentation. Therefore, preoperative planning in spine surgery is a fundamental but important step of surgical workup. It is often aided by direct visualization of 2D resolution, which is extremely time consuming. Now, preoperative planning with VR turned out to be effective in reducing operative time and bleeding.

How to realize reducing operative time in virtual reality technology? The patient’s CT images are processed by software perform VR model reconstruction, simulating and determining the skin puncture point, the insertion angle and puncture depth of the working channel on this basis, so as to complete the micro preoperative approach planning for invasive surgery. A randomized controlled trial of 30 patients undergoing percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic lumbar discectomy. VR preoperative planning group (group A) VS non-planning group (group B). The number of punctures and fluoroscopy time of the former are significantly reduced. It shows that VR preoperative planning can play an important role in ensuring surgical treatment on the premise of reducing the radiation dose of patients and shortening the time required for surgery time.

Further more, virtual reality technology is a kind of fantastic way to allow doctors immerse themselves in the environment, providing more detailed information than ever before. It can be a tool for interacting with patients, which not only can fuel the curiosity about their condition , but also helped distract them before surgery to reduce the opioid using and improve the quality of life of patients.

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