Magazine article USA TODAY

Virtual Reality Training Tools

Magazine article USA TODAY

Virtual Reality Training Tools

Article excerpt

High-tech virtual reality training tools soon may be available to build and enhance plastic surgeons' skills. "Virtual reality has been available previously, but [our] study shows that, with miniaturization, it can also be used to teach microsurgical skills such as suturing tiny nerves, arteries, and veins," indicates William P. Graham, III, chair, Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey. "This very sophisticated device provides an extraordinary learning experience."

The researchers developed a virtual reality trainer for the simulation of microsurgical vascular anastomosis (the surgical joining of two blood vessels which allows flow from one to the other). The instrumentation included three components: a graphics computer to provide three-dimensional images, microsurgical instruments attached to haptic (related to the sense of touch) devices to provide tactile feedback to the surgeon's hands, and a personal computer to control the haptic devices.

One haptic device measures how the microsurgical instrument moves and conveys that information to the computer, which causes the tool to push back so the surgeon feels the same kind of resistance that would occur in a real-life procedure. The computer creates this feeling of resistance by calculating the force with which the instrument is handled, then causes the object in the visual image to move as a real object would when touched. By viewing the area through three-dimensional glasses, the surgeon sees and feels the results of each movement he or she makes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.