When it comes to operations that leave little or no room for error, it helps if doctors are able to visualize the specific area that they will be working on down to the microscopic level.
Surgical Theater's medical Virtual Reality (mVR) Division has developed the Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP) under the guidance of Alon Zuckerman, a veteran executive in the field of advanced flight simulation and Virtual Reality in aviation.
Thus, much like pilots, doctors can now have an overview of their patients’ anatomy and practice complex operations in virtual reality before embarking on the actual procedure.
The SNAP uses VR in surgery that require complex interventions, such as cardiovascular or neurological surgery. It is powered by multiple NVIDIA Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and NVIDIA Scalable Link Interface (SLI) capability.
As Surgical Theater explained: "The SNAP is connected to standard operating room navigation systems and provides advanced imaging capabilities including multiple 3D points of view that allow surgeons to view their case from a microscope perspective and in another view from behind, say, a tumor."
The SNAP also boasts of a dynamic segmentation feature, which turns specific structures semi-transparent. This enables the examination of vessel structure inside a tumor or other anatomical obstructions or anomalies.
Neil Martin, chairman UCLA’s neurosurgery department, asserted that the SNAP technology is a definite confidence booster. "The ability to go through a test-run for highly technical and sensitive surgeries is worth more than I can state," he said.
The added advantage of the SNAP is that even patients can also put on a VR headset and easily navigate through their own bodies. This way, they're fully aware of the nature of their surgical procedure.