WCE 2018: Virtual Reality Immersion for Preoperative Planning and Education for Partial Nephrectomy

Paris, France (UroToday.com) For partial nephrectomy cases, surgeons normally rely on two-dimensional CT or MRI images to view and understand the anatomy prior to the procedure. Dr. Egor Parkhomenko, resident physician, presented data showing his institution’s experience with immersive virtual reality models for preoperative planning and patient education for partial nephrectomy cases. 

Parkhomenko and team created 16 virtual reality models from CT and MRI scans using 3D slicer software. These models were viewed on an Oculus Rift head-mounted display connected to a VR ready laptop and a Leap Motion controller. Within, the Oculus Rift display, users were able to manipulate the models (zoom, rotate, move object) using hand motions detected by the Leap Motion sensor or with the physical Oculus Rift controllers. 



Figure 1: (A-B) MRI Scan (C-D) iVR model depicting lower pole renal tumor (white arrows) and renal arteries (red arrow)

For this study, three expert surgeons evaluated their preoperative anatomical understanding using CT alone and using CT with the virtual reality models in the same patient. Additionally, both surgeons and patients evaluated their experience with the iVR technology using a 1 to 5 Likert scale.

Following analysis, they found that the virtual reality models improved understanding and comfort level regarding the surgery in both patients and surgeons. Specifically, surgeons strongly agreed that the models helped to significantly improve understanding of the size and shape of the renal mass, the anatomy, and the surgical approach. Interestingly, the surgical approach was altered in 56% of the cases after viewing the virtual reality model. 

Dr. Parkhomenko concluded that viewing the virtual reality models prior to partial nephrectomy enhanced surgeons’ anatomical understanding and improved patient understanding of their impending surgery. 

Presented by: Egor Parkhomenko, MD, University of California, Irvine

Authors: Egor Parkhomenko, Shoaib Safiullah, Mitchell O’Leary, Michael Owyong, Sartaaj Walia, Ryan James, Cyrus Lin, Roshan M. Patel, Kamaljot S. Kaler, Edward Uchio, Ralph V. Clayman, Jaime Landman

Affiliation: University of California, Irvine

Written by: Renai Yoon, medical writer for UroToday at the 36th World Congress of Endourology (WCE) and SWL - September 20-23, 2018 Paris, France

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