AUA 2018: Initial Experience with Renal Virtual Reality Models as Education and Preoperative Planning Tools for Partial Nephrectomy

San Francisco, CA USA ( Dr. Egor Parkhomenko, member of the Leader & Innovation Fellowship Training at UCI Department of Urology, presented on the use of 3-dimentional virtual reality (VR) models for preoperative planning for partial nephrectomy. The presenter began by discussing current image modalities used for preoperative evolution of renal cell carcinomas (CT and MRI) and discussed how VR could function as complimentary modality. Dr. Parkhomenko described the VR models as both interactive and patient-specific which could function as an educational tool for both patients and clinicians alike.

The VR models were created using the software 3D splicer which takes CT scans and convert them to 3D models specific to that patient’s anatomy. The VR models are then displayed in an Oculus Rift VR headset using Bosc software. Dr. Parkhomenko would later at the end of his presentation that this was achieved in association to Pyrus Medical. The data consisted of surgeon’s preoperative and post-operative assessments of the use of VR prior to surgery, as well as survey responses of patients before and after using VR in their pre-op visit. Dr. Parkhomenko also presented a video of a user interacting with the VR model which showed multiple functionalities of the software.

Results showed that surgeons overall improved understanding of renal mass characteristics by using the VR models. Using a Likert-type scale, the surgeons both strongly agreed that the VR models improved their understanding prior to surgery and on the use of VR as a possible teaching method for surgical residents. Among the 10 patients who underwent partial nephrectomy, the surgeons noted that using VR altered their initial operation approach in 4 cases (40%). Aside from clinician’s, patients better understood their own anatomy and exhibited less anxiety as a result of interacting with the VR model.

Dr. Parkhomenko concluded that the use of VR models for preoperative planning showed a significant improvement in surgeon understanding, but also was equally as effective as an educational tool for the patients. In response to questions, Dr. Parkhomenko discussed future studies involving VR which would assess of the use of VR models possibly intraoperatively, as well as assessing post-operative outcomes as a result of using VR for preoperative planning.

Presented by Egor Parkhomenko

Written by: Luke Limfueco, MD, Department of Urology, University of California-Irvine at the 2018 AUA Annual Meeting - May 18 - 21, 2018 – San Francisco, CA USA