VR Surgery and Kings Football

January 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm (friends, life!, med, school, pictures)

hahah ok so i cheated and did both. some pictures from both the virtual reality GI robotic surgery and our 20-0 victory against Kings (in the next post) over the previous weekend.

both were really, really good experiences, and i’m glad i managed to show for both, especially the robotic surgery at St Mary’s which i was initially hesitant on.

there’s a room at St Mary’s called the virtual reality room that’s filled with this sort of simulators. here Nick is removing an infected gall bladder – the left hand uses an instrument to burn off the attachments to the surrounding walls, while the right hand grasps the gall bladder with another instrument. you can select a range of instruments for the left and right operating hands; i did the operation successfully on my second go!

the simulator offers a variety of scenarios and situations to operate on, and it’s super realistic as well, down to a violent vibration if you cause a perforation (brought on by hemorrhaging). i’d trade my PS2 for this machine any day. in fact, i’m pretty sure i’ll be acquiring one of these for my bachelor’s pad some 10 years down the road. hoho.

colonoscopy! reminds me of that old school Nokia handphone game called Caves where you try to navigate a snake through a tunnel without hitting the top or the bottom. it’s harder than it looks as you tend to lose your orientation and get stuck against the walls. kind of like one of those car racing games where you go in reverse by accident, except that it’s much harder to re-orientate yourself in this case. also, you have to navigate through to the end of the colon within 3 minutes to be certified proficient.

Huan Huan on a machine designed to train precision and technique in handling of the instruments.

Nizar on the NOTES simulator. we were there primarily to act as test subjects in a study on NOTES, involving medical students and trained consultant surgeons. the study was to determine if participants exposed to certain simulation trainings beforehand would be more proficient at the NOTES technique. (in this study’s scenario there was a cut in the stomach, and from there you were supposed to navigate a tube with a video camera through to the appendix, liver and gall bladder, before inserting another instrument to make a cut)

i was in the control group where i was put straight into doing it without any prior training. totally flunked it as i took way too long to orientate myself to where the organs were. interestingly, NOTES ranks way down on the list of desired surgical procedures if patients had a choice, with most preferring single port access surgery and even conventional laparoscopy over NOTES. i got a similar response when i asked a couple of my friends during the snowboarding trip. it’s just something about putting instruments down the body’s orifices i guess, even if it’s a good way to prevent scarring after surgery.


the advancements in robotic surgery in recent years is remarkable stuff, with remote operation from a distant location some time in the near future a distinct possibility (the technology already exists). now just imagine that: operating on someone in Africa from a hospital in London.

by the time me and Nick left St Mary’s it was already past dinner, and we hadn’t even had lunch! that was how absorbed we were by the whole experience. will probably be back soon some time later this month for further training with the simulators.

back to school/hospital tomorrow at Chelsea West hospital for a 10-week attachment in endocrinology. wonder how that’s going to turn out. sucks that we have a week less of holidays than everyone else at Imperial!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: