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A virtual difference in patient education and planning for surgery.

Surgical Reality at Florida Hospital Tampa
Nov 2016

Surgical Reality

The Surgical Reality program at Florida Hospital Tampa brings virtual reality to patient care, allowing surgeons and patients to see inside the body with a precision never before available. Using the same advanced VR (virtual reality) technology used in military flight simulators, Surgical Reality combines Magnetic Resonance (MR) and computerized tomography (CT) scans of patients to provide personalized three-dimensional views of their diagnosis.

Florida Hospital Tampa has partnered with Surgical Theater, a trailblazer in the field of medical virtual reality imaging, to bring VR medicine to the Tampa Bay area. One of only a select few hospitals in the world with access to this innovative method of surgical planning and patient education, Florida Hospital Tampa is the first in the southeastern United States to use this technology. Surgical Theater’s Precision VR™ allows patients to see their brain tumor or aneurysm the way the neurosurgeon sees it. The surgeon can walk inside the surgical plan—into a 360-degree model of the patient’s own specific anatomy and diagnosis—to give patients and families an intuitive understanding they need to make complex medical decisions.

The Virtual Reality Difference

Surgical Theater’s Precision VR™ platform combines data from CT and MR scans to create an immersive, full-color, three-dimensional model of a patient’s anatomy. The reconstructed scans allow physicians to guide patients through their own bodies, detailing their pathologies in ways never before possible. This technology offers a game-changing improvement over the conventional method where the surgeon points out a tumor or abnormality on flat, black-and-white 2-D images, which are used in most medical facilities.

Surgical Reality models can be viewed on a dedicated high-definition monitor, a tablet, or by using virtual reality goggles, where patients can view their scans in an immersive, totally VR experience.

VR in the OR

With Surgical Reality, surgeons can plan their surgical procedures in advance using intricately detailed models of their patient’s anatomy. It allows surgeons to better visualize a path to the tumor or aneurysm, as well prepare for abnormalities that might cause issues during surgery. Precision VR™ also is integrated into the operating rooms at Florida Hospital Tampa through the innovative Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP). This allows surgeons efficient and immediate access to Surgical Reality’s detailed models during surgery.

Surgical Reality allows surgeons to plan and execute surgeries on Surgical Theater’s Precision VR platform before entering the operating field. Being able to see inside the body in a detailed, 360-degree immersive virtual environment allows surgeons to plan surgeries more precisely and efficiently, which can optimize safety and improve outcomes.


Below are videos created by Surgical Theater’s Precision VR for Surgical Reality. These are guideed fly-throughs of pateint brain scans. To experience these videos in 360 degree virtual reality in a VR viewer such as Google Cardboard or Occulus Rift, visit our 360 video playlist on YouTube.

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