✓ The goal of this study was to develop a new method for neurosurgical education based on interactive stereoscopic virtual reality (ISVR). Interactive stereoscopic virtual reality can be used to recreate the three-dimensional (3D) experience of neurosurgical approaches much more realistically than standard educational methods. The demonstration of complex 3D relationships is unrivaled and easily combined with interactive learning and multimedia capabilities.
Interactive stereoscopic virtual reality permits the accurate recreation of neurosurgical approaches through integration of several forms of stereoscopic multimedia (video, interactive anatomy, and computer-rendered animations). The content explored using ISVR is obtained through a combination of approach-based cadaver dissections, live surgical images and videos, and computer-rendered animations. These media are combined through an interactive software interface to demonstrate key aspects of a neurosurgical approach (for example, patient positioning, draping, incision, individual surgical steps, alternative steps, relevant anatomy). The ISVR platform is designed for use on a desktop personal computer with newly developed, inexpensive, platform-independent shutter glasses.
Interactive stereoscopic virtual reality has been used to capture the anatomy and methods of several neurosurgical approaches. In this paper the authors report their experience with ISVR and describe its potential advantages. The success of a neurosurgical approach is contingent on the mastery of complex, 3D anatomy. A new technology for neurosurgical education, ISVR can improve understanding and speed the learning process. It is an effective tool for neurosurgical education, bridging the substantial gap between textbooks and intraoperative training.