Newest Technology in Virtual Reality Training for Surgery

Newest Technology in Virtual Reality Training for Surgery

Newest Technology in Virtual Reality Training for Surgery

Walk-through -- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
20-minute presentations by companies: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

PLACE: Kiewit Auditorium, Arizona Cancer Center, 1515 N. Campbell

COST: Free and open to health professionals and others interested in medical education

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Reporters are welcome to cover this event. Contact Jo Marie Gellerman, (520) 626-7219.

Although airline pilots spend years training in flight simulators before flying a plane filled with passengers, surgeons frequently make their first incisions on real patients.

The Surgery Simulator Expo 2004, sponsored by the Arizona Surgery Club and the University of Arizona Department of Surgery, will showcase medical simulators that allow surgeons to practice delicate operations -- before they ever touch a living patient.

The Expo (on Friday, April 16, at Kiewit Auditorium at the Arizona Cancer Center) will feature leading national and international medical simulation companies: Immersion, Simulab, Haptica, Medical Education Technologies Inc. (METI), Karl Storz Endoscopy and Laerdal. Company representatives will demonstrate state-of-art surgical simulation technology and participants will be able to view and test the latest in high-tech training in surgery. Perfecting surgery techniques usually requires hundreds of operations and hours of work. With computer-based simulators, however, surgeons-in-training can practice complex surgical procedures over and over again. Simulators add a way to brush up on the technique, experiment and correct mistakes. Virtual reality takes less time and resources, allowing experienced surgeons to update their skills on new, minimally invasive techniques.

The UA Department of Surgery plans to open a Medical and Surgical Simulation Laboratory this summer that will develop, validate and apply simulation-based training tools and curricula for use in surgical and medical education, says Allan J. Hamilton, MD, UA Department of Surgery. "Virtual reality is the wave of the future in medical education," Dr. Hamilton says.