Recent studies have shown that mental script-based rehearsal and simulation-based training improve the transfer of surgical skills in various medical disciplines. Despite significant advances in technology and intraoperative techniques over the last several decades, surgical skills training on neurosurgical operations still carries significant risk of serious morbidity or mortality. Potentially avoidable technical errors are well recognized as contributing to poor surgical outcome. Surgical education is undergoing overwhelming change, as a result of the reduction of work hours and current trends focusing on patient safety and linking reimbursement with clinical outcomes. Thus, there is a need for adjunctive means for neurosurgical training, which is a recent advancement in simulation technology. ImmersiveTouch is an augmented reality system that integrates a haptic device and a high-resolution stereoscopic display. This simulation platform uses multiple sensory modalities, re-creating many of the environmental cues experienced during an actual procedure. Modules available include ventriculostomy, bone drilling, percutaneous trigeminal rhizotomy, and simulated spinal modules such as pedicle screw placement, vertebroplasty, and lumbar puncture. We present our experience with the development of such augmented reality neurosurgical modules and the feedback from neurosurgical residents.
ABBREVIATIONS: AANS, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
AR, augmented reality
VR, virtual reality