(Philadelphia, PA) - Neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists
at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
are the first in Philadelphia to use virtual reality, three-dimensional
(3D) imaging for surgical planning, evaluation, and education. Prior
to walking into the Operating Room, Penn neurosurgeons can now use
a Dextroscope® to create interactive, 3D images of their patient’s
brain to plan the best surgical approach in dealing most effectively
with a diagnosed condition.
“This superior technology provides remarkable advances in
imaging and surgical planning for brain and skull-base tumors and
epilepsy,” said Sean Grady, MD, Chair of
the Department of Neurosurgery at Penn. “It allows us to look
at the brain in ways similar to how we would during surgery, and
then plan the best technique for each patient before we even begin.
This is of great benefit to the patient, because it results in a
less-invasive surgical process, using smaller incisions.”
Dextroscope works by fusing multi-modality images - such as CT and
MRI - into 3D volumetric objects that, when viewed through special
stereoscopic goggles, are transformed into virtual reality, 3D images.
The suspended brain images give surgeons a detailed advance visualization
of the complex anatomical relationships and pathology of the patient’s
brain. Further, the images can be easily manipulated by the surgeons,
in real time, by using a control mechanism and stylus that work
in conjunction with the Dextroscope. Such hands-on interaction -
including “virtual drilling” for surgical-path planning
and tools to measure linear distances and curved surfaces in 3D
space - permits the surgical team to plan and “test”
their exact clinical approach.
The Dextroscope also serves as an educational tool for neurosurgeons
at any level of expertise, teaching both basic anatomy and advanced
surgical techniques. With this technology, the user can practice
a procedure over and over.
“The advanced imaging and planning capabilities that this
technology offers is enhancing how we perform neurosurgery here
at Penn,” said Grady.
Penn’s Department of Neurosurgery covers the entire spectrum
of disorders that impair the central and peripheral nervous system.
Performing over 2,000 operations each year, the Department provides
superb patient care by embracing new technologies and integrating
research with clinical practice.
PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical
research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in
1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of
Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation
for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in
U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top
research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty
and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide
for its superior education and training of the next generation of
physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System comprises: its
flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania,
consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll”
hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital,
the nation's first hospital; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; a
faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty
satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.