(NBC News) – (10/4/19) New technology is giving neurosurgeons at Kentucky’s Norton Children’s Hospital a chance to actually see inside a child’s skull and practice a procedure before they ever step into an operating room.
Norton Children’s is the first pediatric hospital in the region to offer Surgical Theater, virtual reality technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s skull and brain.
Using VR goggles and a video game controller, Surgical Theater allows doctors, patients and their families to “fly into” the patient’s head. This allows a look into the brain to see and understand the relationship of surgical issues such as a tumor or lesion to the child’s surrounding brain.
Surgical Theater is also giving kids a chance to understand their condition from the inside out.
“Currently, neurosurgeons rely on multiple series of 2D images in order to guide decision-making for brain surgery,” says neurosurgeon Dr. Ian Mutchnick. “Having this new technology really helps us with surgical planning and execution, and allows us to better educate patients and families about their treatment options before we set foot in the operating room.”