Virtual Reality: Immersive Hepatic Surgery Educational Environment (IHSEE)

Silverstein JC, Dech F, Edison M, Jurek P, Helton WS, Espat NJ.  Virtual Reality: Immersive Hepatic Surgery Educational Environment (IHSEE).  Surgery. 2002 Aug;132(2):274-7.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1067/msy.2002.125723

Background. Understanding the spatial relationships among the liver segments, and intrahepatic portal and hepatic veins is essential for surgical treatment of liver diseases. Teleimmersive virtual reality enables improved visualization over conventional media because it supports stereo vision, viewer-centered perspective, large angles of view, and interactivity with remote locations. We report a successful pilot study teaching hepatic surgical principles using teleimmersion.

Methods. We developed a teleimmersive environment for teaching with biomedical models including virtual models of the liver segments and portal and hepatic veins. Using the environment, 1 instructor gave a workshop to 6 senior general surgery residents at 2 physical locations. A 24-question (36-point) examination was administered before and after the workshop.

Results. The workshop produced significant improvements in the mean test scores between the pretests and posttests (17.67 to 23.67, P <.02). We found no differences between residents who were with the instructor and those at the remote location. Six-month delayed testing demonstrated complete retention of new knowledge.

Conclusions. The teleimmersive environment enabled surgeons to overcome some of the barriers to teaching complex surgical anatomic principles. Using teleimmersive environments, surgical educators and trainees can interact from locations worldwide using virtual anatomic information to achieve their educational goals. (Surgery 2002;132:274-7.)

Publication Year: 
2002
Publication Credits: 
Silverstein JC, Dech F, Edison M, Jurek P, Helton WS, Espat NJ
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