The far-lateral craniotomy: novel application of stereoscopic virtual reality
The far-lateral craniotomy has become a standard skull-base approach for accessing the anterior clivus, foramen magnum, and anterolateral brainstem. The success of this approach is contingent upon mastery of complex three-dimensional anatomy. Our objective was to evaluate whether advances in computer-based virtual reality could be applied to improve demonstration of these intricate anatomic relationships. Cadaveric dissection was performed following the steps of a far-lateral craniotomy. At each stage of the dissection, stereoscopic images were obtained. These images were combined into interactive virtual reality "movies." The result is an extremely useful computer-based interface for studying or teaching the techniques and anatomy of the far-lateral craniotomy. Computer-based stereoscopic virtual reality can be used to improve neurosurgical education and has several advantages over other available tools. These include the benefits of interactive learning, the ability to communicate information in a multimedia format, and improved demonstration of complex three-dimensional relationships.
Herrn, JS; Lemole, GM; Ferreira, M; Gonzalez, F; Preul, M; Spetzler, RF
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