- Title: 3D brain surgery simulator gets Hollywood treatment
- Date: 31st July 2017
- Summary: BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (REUTERS) PAN SHOT OF 3D SIMULATORS FOR PRACTICING BRAIN SURGERY PAN SHOT SIMULATOR'S MOUTH TO INCISION ON TOP OF HEAD PETER WEINSTOCK WALKING IN HOSPITAL SIGN READING, "BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL SIMULATOR PROGRAM" (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. PETER WEINSTOCK, CO-DEVELOPER OF 3D SIMULATOR FOR PRACTICING BRAIN SURGERY, SAYING: "As we started to develop our simulation program and we worked more and more with senior practitioners, we had to up our bar in terms of the realism of what we delivered. And more and more so, what ended up happening is our simulations felt more and more like films; they felt like cinematography; they felt like theater. And so we started to push the trainer development in order to complement something like that. So it was not a long leap ultimately for us to start to reach out to our friends over in Hollywood and say 'come on board,' because we needed that kind of expertise to fully fill out what we were trying to accomplish in life-like, realistic rehearsal."
- Embargoed: 14th August 2017 14:50
- Keywords: 3D brain surgery simulator Hollywood special effects FracturedFX Johns Hopkins Hospital Boston Children's Hospital
- Location: BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS / BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS
- City: BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS / BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA0016S1T93V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: When a team of neurosurgeons and computer engineers set out to design a 3D simulator for practicing brain surgery, their goal was to make it as realistic as possible.
"It was not a long leap, ultimately, for us to reach out to our friends in Hollywood and say 'come on board,'" said Dr. Weinstock of Boston Children's Hospital. "We needed that kind of expertise to fill out what we were trying to accomplish in life-like, realistic rehearsal."
With the help of FracturedFX, an Emmy Award-winning special effects group, they created a full-scale reproduction of a 14-year-old child's head and brain, on which trainees can practice performing a delicate, minimally invasive, brain operation called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV).
The procedure is used to treat hydrocephalus, one of the most common conditions seen in pediatric neurosurgery, in which there is excessive build-up of cerebrospinal fluid and pressure on the brain.
Neurosurgeons perform ETVs to re-route the fluid back into normal channels, eliminating the need to implant a lifelong shunt.
The simulator's developers hope their invention will help improve training of this procedure and others by offering a more true-to-life experience than the usual training tools, which include fruits and vegetables and cadavers.
"Cadavers are expensive; there are risks in working with cadavers; and the cadavers don't necessarily recapitulate the disorder that we're trying to treat, because a patient would have died from another condition," explained Dr. Alan Cohen, a co-developer of the simulator, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Known for playing his favorite Elvis Presley tunes in the operating room, Cohen added that practice, whether for a medical student or senior practitioner, is essential.
"The idea is kind of taking a practice swing before hitting a golf ball," he said.
While the developers boast that the simulator is a safe, realistic, reusable, and cost-effective way to train, Weinstock concedes that one of their biggest challenges is encouraging time-strapped health professionals to practice.
"In the end, there's good studies to show that once you do that the efficiency goes up, volume actually goes up, and outcomes improve," he said.
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