If you’ve seen The Knick on Cinemax, you’ve probably turned away during one of the more graphic scenes as Dr. Thackery (played by Clive Owen) operates on a patient in the early 20th century New York Knickerbocker hospital. A new technology is giving today's surgeons — and their patients — an advantage Dr. Thakcery could never have imagined.

Surgical theaters like the ones at Hoag Hospital and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center are using virtual reality to better prepare physicians for an upcoming procedure, according to a press release.

Using the Surgical Theater Surgical Planner, CT and MRI scans performed at Hoag and UCLA are translated into interactive 3D models with seemingly live tissue that can react to digital surgery tools. “It allows for increasingly minimally invasive procedures, which are much better for our patients because [there are] fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and overall faster recoveries and patient comfort,” said Robert Louis, M.D. director of Hoag’s Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program in the release. 

Quick Doses of Med Tech News:

  • A 3D printed kidney helped doctors at Intermountain Medical Center prepare for a risky kidney surgery that ultimately saved the patient’s life, News Medical reports.
  • The Wall Street Journal published an article on the “Six New Medical Technologies Worth Watching,” among them — an engineered blood vessel.
  • Two vaccines were proven to protect mice against the Zika virus, finds a study published in Nature, and reported on by STAT.