Applications of virtual reality to surgery

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6936.1054a (Published 23 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1054
  1. K McGovern

    Virtual reality can be defined as human interaction in an environment that is simulated by a computer. To simulate a surgical procedure interaction must be lifelike: not only must the manipulation occur in real time but the virtual anatomy must look real. Currently, the potential applications of this new technology are being explored in minimally invasive surgery, neurosurgery, and “telepresence surgery.”

    Technologies such as graphics workstation computers and specialised tracking devices have made it possible to build an advanced prototype of a simulator for minimally invasive surgery called the virtual clinic.1 This system uses tracking devices attached to actual surgical instruments which are inserted through trocars into a fibreglass mould of the body.

    Graphic representations of the body change as the …

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