The Division of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery at Toronto city’s Sunnybrook Hospital is rapidly advancing their cardiac and vascular expertise.
Last fall, the Sunnybrook Division recruited two vascular surgeons to their program with advanced computer based endovascular training demonstrating that new technologies, in particular virtual reality and robotics, will have a major impact on Toronto health care in the next decade.
Robotics are currently being used in orthopaedics and cardiology. In general surgery, operating rooms equipped with C-arms are applied for imaging leads in the use of simulators, and neurosurgery with augmented reality and image guided surgery. Other virtual reality applications are being used in anaesthetics and emergency medicine.
The application of virtual reality and robotics to surgical planning and training is the first step in the execution of new surgical procedures in the teaching forum.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre recruited Andrew Dueck when he completed his surgical training at the University of Toronto in general and vascular surgery. Following fellowship training in vascular surgery in Toronto, Andrew Dueck traveled to the Arizona Heart Institute (AHI) in Phoenix, Arizona to pursue advanced endovascular training under Dr. Ted Dietrich. AHI is a state-of-the-art facility centrally located in one location designed to provide an all together open vascular, endovascular, and cardiac procedure. There are four operating rooms each equipped with C-arms for imaging, carbon fiber tables and the full range of the latest devices and stents for cardiac and vascular interventions.
Rapid developments in the internet and ‘e-learning’ domains have accelerated the progress of simulation techniques and on how interactive 3D images are structured.
Toronto Sunnybrook hospital appointed Giuseppe Papia to the group last year: “..the dramatic changes required to train one individual in such a broad range of skills would be disruptive to current university training programs, the hospital and the practice of vascular surgery and radiology, but those barriers were never encountered.” It is a high volume operative fellowship available only to fully trained vascular or cardiovascular surgeons. The cardiologists and cardiac surgeons build a Toronto centre that is equipped even better than the one at the Arizona Heart Institute. Giuseppe Papia has also recently pursued the Endovascular Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. “Working together is an amazing experience for us ..which is facilitating our local success.” Sunnybrooke Surgical Spotlight
A successful medical simulator or surgical system based on virtual reality requires the participation of a team of experts in software engineering and digital 3D design, electromechanical engineering, robotics, and microtechnology. Consequently, no single database adequately covers all the surgical factors involved just yet, however, the process validates the first footprint in the future of virtual reality surgical techniques and the promise of saving lives with new computer imaging technologies.