A neurosurgical procedure is a planned intervention into a highly complex three-dimensional space. A comprehensive understanding of the spatial relationships between individual anatomical and pathological structures is therefore imperative for successful surgery.
As one of a few centers in the world we plan our neurosurgical operations in a computerized Virtual Reality (VR) environment, the Dextroscope. The Dextroscope (see left) enables precise work in a computergraphic three-dimensional workspace by reaching into the virtual structures resembling the way one interacts with real objects.
For this purpose, high resolution MRI and CT imaging series are three-dimensionally reconstructed and the individual anatomical structures realistically displayed. The best surgical approach is then simulated in a virtual 3D space.
In contrast to the conventional representation with layer images, the surgical area can be represented and analyzed exactly three-dimensionally by the virtual simulation. Similar to a flight simulator, the optimal access path, the selection of instruments and the sequence of surgical steps can be simulated before the actual operation.
This makes it possible to develop a precise surgical concept that is individually tailored to the patient, especially for complex operations, and to operate in a minimally invasive and targeted manner. We have been able to prove in numerous publications that the use of this virtual reality simulation minimizes the surgical risk and at the same time achieves a better surgical result.
Prof. Dr. Kockro has been in charge of the development of this technology for 20 years, and established the system at the Center for Microneurosurgery at Klinik Hirslanden.