(09/26/13) - Technology that is helping surgeons get better at what they do, may also help patients better understand their diseases and the treatments available. It is a virtual visual that goes way below the surface.
Complex conditions and procedures described in multi-syllabic medical terminology can be difficult to decode, creating stress and confusion about your healthcare options.
"Our biggest challenge as surgeons,is getting people to understand exactly what we are doing, and not only what we are doing, but how difficult it can be," says Dr. David Thiel of the Mayo Clinic.
Virtual dissection tables could help bridge the communication gap between doctor and patient, says IT Specialist Conrad Dove, "we can take a thin slice ct scan of any patient we want and we can virtualize them in a matter of six to 12 minutes, and we can have them on the table."
In life size 3D, so doctors can show, not just tell, patients, about a trouble spot on any layer of the body, down to the bone, Dove adds ,"three dimension is so much more real to people. If I show someone a picture of something on a sheet of paper or I show them a pop-up book, which one makes more sense? even a child gets more out of a pop-up book."
Dr. Thiel agrees, "this type of model would allow you to see, hey, here is where the tumor is, here is where we need to cut, here is where we need to reconstruct and it kind of gives you an idea of what we are trying to do."
Dr. Thiel also expects to use this technology to help his surgical team, including nurses and medical technicians, prepare for a complex procedure.
The technology is part of mayo clinic's new simulation center.
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