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NYU Neurosurgeons Adopt Flight Simulator Technology

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 02 Jul 2014
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The Surgical Theater Surgical Rehearsal Platform
Surgical simulator (Photo courtesy of Surgical Theater)
Neurosurgeons in New York are using computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to practice tumor removal and aneurysm repairs.

Developed by Surgical Theater (Cleveland, OH, USA), the innovative simulator, called the Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP), creates an individualized “dry run” for neurosurgeons based on three dimensional (3D) imaging taken from the patient's CT and MRI scans. Surgeons then plan and rehearse the surgeries using the unique software, which combines lifelike tissue reaction with accurate modeling of surgical tools and clamps, enabling them to navigate multiple-angled models of a patient's brain and vasculature.

Surgeons can rehearse a specific case on monitors connected to controllers that simulate surgical tools. The surgeon then can assess the tissue's mechanical properties and view realistic microscopic characteristics (including shadowing and texture) to plan approaches, so that when the real surgery is being performed, doctors have rehearsed and already have a mental picture of what is being seen in the operating room (OR). For example, when rehearsing a surgery for an aneurysm, the SRP reacts realistically when the surgeon virtually applies a clip to the blood vessel.

“We are excited to partner with Surgical Theater to bring their Surgery Rehearsal Platform to our institution,” said John G. Golfinos, MD, chair of the department of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Medical Center (New York, NY, USA), and associate professor of neurosurgery at NYU School of Medicine. “The reaction of tissue in these 3D images is incredibly life-like and modeling of surgical tools is equally impressive. The SRP also will enhance the training of medical students, residents and fellows and help them hone their skills in new and more meaningful ways.”

Surgical Theater is also developing a newer-generation of the SRP, the Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP), which will allow the tool to be used in the OR in real time, so that surgeons can apply the augmented reality technology during procedures. Potential applications include treatment of pituitary tumors, skull base tumors, intrinsic brain tumors, aneurysms, and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Related Links:

Surgical Theater
NYU Langone Medical Center


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