Physician uses VR headset to map patient's brain during surgery

VR continues to expand into different markets, with a physician using one during brain surgery.

55 seconds read time

While most people instantly think 'gaming' when it comes to VR, the applications in which it will be used are virtually limitless. Doctors at the Angers University Hospital in western France have used a VR headset to map a patient's brain during surgery, removing the tumor late last month.

Physician uses VR headset to map patient's brain during surgery |

During the procedure, the patient was concious, with doctors using the virtual environment to map zones of the brain. Up until now, mappning and monitoring neural connections in certain areas of the brain wasn't easily done, especially in the operating room. Neurosurgeon Philippe Menei explains: "By totally controlling what the patient sees and hears, we can put him in situations that allow us to do tests on certain connections that were not possible before".

In this procedure, doctors needed to monitor the patient's vision carefully, as the tumor had spread to one eye. In order to know what was going on with the reactions in the brain, the surgical team created a VR environment without a single point of focus. Instead, they employed "luminous objects" in the patient's peripheral vision. These results were positive, as the patient's sight remains intact post-op, considering where the tumor was. Doctors are now planning to use the setup for future cases that are similar, where they're impacting the region of the brain that controls sight.


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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