Immersive Virtual Reality for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): “The More you Know, the Safer and More Effective the Outcome” “Presentation”

May 4, 2024

Andrei Cumpanas from UC Irvine presented a study on using immersive virtual reality (IVR) models prior to percutaneous stone removal, showing that IVR improved surgeon understanding of case anatomy, altered calyx choice in 30% of cases, and led to better surgical outcomes with reduced complications.


Andrei D. Cumpanas, MD, Researcher, Department of Urology, The University of California, Irvine, CA


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Andrei D. Cumpanas: Dear viewers, my name is Andrei Cumpanas. I'm a LIFT research scholar here at the University of California Irvine's Department of Urology, and today I'll be presenting the results of our study, Immersive Virtual Reality for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Therapy. The more we know the safer and more effective the outcome.

We studied the possible impact of viewing an immersive virtual reality model prior to percutaneous stone removal. 175 patients were randomized into either a CT-only group or a CT-plus immersive virtual reality group. Using 3D Slicer software, CT scans were rendered into IVR models. These IVR models allowed the surgeon to visualize and manipulate the relevant anatomical landmarks.
Four surgeons were included in this study. Each surgeon's understanding of the case anatomy was assessed by a Likert scale questionnaire upon reviewing the CT scan or the IVR model. We assessed surgical planning, operative and postoperative outcomes, and follow-up CT stone clearance data.

Reviewing the IVR model resulted in an altered calyx of choice in 30% of IVR model cases. There was a significant increase in absolute stone free, and less than four millimeters stone remnant rate, as well as a reduced incidence of Clavien, II and IIIa complications in the IVR group.

In sum, preoperative viewing of a virtual reality model provided for a safer, more effective percutaneous stone removal procedure.

Thank you.