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Making Augmented and Virtual Reality Work for the Plastic Surgeon

Kanevsky, Jonathan, MD*; Safran, Tyler, MD*; Zammit, Dino, MD*; Lin, Samuel J., MD, MBA, FACS; Gilardino, Mirko, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS*‡§

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001594
Circumspectus Medicinae: Text and Context

Augmented and virtual reality is an evolving technology at the forefront of medicine. It can provide physicians with hands-free, real-time access to the vast resources of the Internet and electronic medical records, allowing simultaneously recording of clinical encounters or procedures. Mixed reality platforms can be applied as a clinical tool, educational resource, or as an aid in enhancing communication in health care. This article will explore how various augmented and virtual reality platforms have enabled real-time visualization of patient information, recording of surgical cases, point-of-view photography, and intraoperative consults—all while remaining sterile in the operating room. Although this technology is of potential value to a number of different surgical and medical specialties, plastic surgery is ideally suited to lead this charge.

From the *Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA;

Plastic Surgery Residency Program, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec; and

§H.B. Williams Craniofacial & Cleft Surgery Unit, Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, Canada.

Received May 21, 2018, and accepted for publication, after revision June 24, 2018.

Presented at the 2016 American Society of Plastic Surgery Meeting in Los Angeles.

Presented During American Association of Plastic Surgery Webinar December 2017.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Funding: This study has received no funding.

Additional content: A video on augmented reality in surgery accompanies this manuscript.

Reprints: Mirko Gilardino, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, H.B. Williams Craniofacial & Cleft Surgery Unit, Montreal Children's Hospital, 1001 Decarie Boulevard, B05.3310 Montreal, Canada H4A 3J1. E-mail:; Samuel Lin, MD, MBA, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 110 Francis Street, Suite 5A Boston, MA 02215. E-mail:

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