For a number of years, pilots have used virtual reality simulators to practice critical missions before taking to the skies. Thanks to a revolutionary new virtual reality training tool developed by Elyria’s Surgical Theater, LLC
, surgeons now have a way to practice brain surgery before setting foot in the operating room.
The Surgery Rehearsal Platform (SRP) simulator consists of a desk top computer, a portable laptop system, software, controllers and 3D glasses.
“Using standard CT and MRI images from any patient, the SRP generates accurate models in 3D that show the interaction between life-like tissue and surgical instruments,” explains Moty Avisar, Surgical Theater president and CEO. “The tissue responds realistically to actions taken by the surgeon, enabling pre-surgery planning and rehearsal with complete accuracy.”
Beyond practicing on standard CT and MRI images, surgeons can also use unique images taken of the patient who will be undergoing surgery.
“Using the SRP prior to a procedure enables a surgeon to evaluate, experiment and do a ‘dry run’ on his or her approach beforehand, resulting in a better-prepared surgeon,” Avisar states. “Studies will be done to confirm this, but our belief is that SRP training will lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced risk.”
The Surgery Rehearsal Platform received full FDA approval in February. The SRP’s unique patient-specific capability is one of the key innovations that led to FDA approval, he notes. According to Avisar, it’s the only patented and FDA-cleared training platform for cerebral and spine pre-surgery rehearsal in the marketplace.
The SRP, which took approximately three years to develop, supports several cerebral procedures, including aneurysm repair and tumor resection. The team is working to add capabilities to support other brain-related procedures and spine surgeries.
According to Avisar, the first SRP was recently sold to University Hospital Case Medical Center
, where it is being used on a regular basis.
The company, which started with one person in 2010, received funding from the Ohio Third Frontier
, private investors and angel groups. It plans to expand to 15 employees by the end of the year.
Source: Moty Avisar, Surgical Theater, LLC
Writer: Lynne Meyer