Surgeons have successfully used virtual reality to separate the brains of conjoined twins after a lengthy 27-hour operation.
The two 3-year-old Brazilian conjoined twins Bernardo and Arthur Lima were born fused at the head and brain. The pair recently underwent a 27-hour operation that included nearly 100 medical staff and Great Ormond Street Hospital paediatric surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani.
According to Jeelani, teams of surgeons in both London and Rio spent several months using virtual reality projections of the twins skull and brain. These projections were based on CT and MRI data and allowed for surgeons to practice in a "virtual reality room" where they could perform the practice surgery together. The British neurosurgeon described the virtual reality technology as "space age," and that there is extreme benefit for surgeons to be able to "see the anatomy and do the surgery before you actually put the children at any risk."
"You can imagine how reassuring that is for the surgeons. In some ways these operations are considered the hardest of our time, and to do it in virtual reality was just really man-on-Mars stuff," said Jeelani.
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