Virtual Reality Brain Surgery Simulator

Excellence in Neurosurgical Care

Under the leadership of Joshua B. Bederson, MD, FACS, Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at the Mount Sinai Health System, physicians in the Department of Neurosurgery have become internationally renowned for skull base and cerebrovascular surgery, pituitary disorders, acoustic tumors, spinal reconstruction, epilepsy, radiosurgery, stereotactic and primary brain tumor surgery, and neuroendoscopy, among other specialty areas. These accomplishments build upon a century of excellence. The Department of Neurosurgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital was established in 1914, and today it is ranked among the nation’s top 25 programs, according to the 2013-2014 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. In addition, our physicians are consistently listed in New York Magazine’s "Best Doctors" issue.

Driving Improvements in Clinical Care

In 2013, Mount Sinai began using virtual reality neurosurgical simulators – including the NeuroTouch Cranial Simulator created by the Canadian Research Council (CRC) and the Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP) by Surgical Theater, LLC* – in an effort to improve outcomes and reduce complications in patients undergoing brain surgery. These are highly innovative platforms, equipped with 3D software and handheld surgical controls to allow practitioners to plan and rehearse various procedures, such as aneurysm clippings and tumor resection, prior to actual surgery. The programs provide visual, touch, and sound feedback to the practitioner and a computer-generated "score" that evaluates the practitioner’s success in key surgical measures: the amount of tumor "removed" and the extent of "bleeding," for example. Surgeons can also, for the first time, input patient-specific data and brain images to develop a 3D rendering of the patient’s brain. At Mount Sinai, the programs are helping to train neurosurgery residents and advance the skill sets of the experienced surgeon.

*Dr. Bederson owns equity in Surgical Theater, LLC, creator of the Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP), and the Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP), a 3D navigation tool used with Surgical Theater.