Virtual Reality Gets Real In the Operating Room

“A few days before tugging on surgical gloves to slice open a patient’s brain, doctors at Stanford University slip on virtual reality goggles to help prepare for the risky procedure. Conventional MRI or CT scans can reveal only so much about what a patient’s brain looks like. But feed those images into VR technology, and surgeons can see the brain—all the ridges and fissures, lobes and veins—in 3D, so they can simulate surgery before stepping into the operating room.

“It’s as if we have been there before, and it’s not a surprise,” says Gary Steinberg, a Stanford Medicine neurosurgeon who helped create the school’s two-year-old Neurosurgical Simulation and Virtual Reality Center…”