Emil Zhalmukhamedov, Timur M Urakov
Background: For many years the same model has been applied to neurosurgical education; and unfortunately with the shift of healthcare to political and socioeconomic areas, it forced many surgical residents and fellows to limit their OR exposure only to certain cases. With limited resources given to graduate medical education facilities, now a more optimal approach to surgical education has to be adopted. There is a need for modern hands-on, yet safe approach to crucial neurosurgical procedures. A Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality technology can provide an optimal solution to any neurosurgeon who seeks to improve his/her OR skills on demand, without compromising patient safety, wasting OR time and most importantly cost efficiently for the hospital.
Methods: We performed online search of the Google Scholar and PubMed databases for the following keywords â€œvirtual reality,â€ â€œneurosurgery,â€ â€œspine surgery,â€ â€œaugmented reality,â€ separately as a single word and as a phrase. Our search strategy included publications from early 2000s to 2019 years respectively.
Results: A unique combination of 3D VR/AR technology allows neurosurgeons to get a precise planning before the actual procedure, additionally, visualize a roadmap for possible complications during the surgery. Some critical tasks of complex procedures could be segmented and rehearsed before the surgery for optimal outcome. One who immerses in 3D VR can easily explore the area of interest from any possible angle.
Conclusion: Integration of VR/AR technology in the preoperative and operative fields, allows neurosurgeons to maximize efficiency, technique and even provide an educational benefit for the patients undergoing neurosurgical procedure.
Â Keywords: augmented reality, neurosurgery, virtual reality