A new study has just provided further evidence in favor of the use of virtual reality technology during surgical operations. This technology could indeed help ease pain experienced by patients.
According to a recent article published by researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Bostonpatients who wore a virtual reality headset during a hand operation required less anesthetics. Typically, patients undergoing this type of operation require 750.6 mg of propofol per hour. Those who wore a virtual reality headset only needed 125.3 mg. They also have recovered fasterremaining in intensive care only 63 minutes on average instead of 75 minutes.
In virtual reality headsets, doctors broadcast soothing content such as meditation sessions, scenes showing nature, or videos.
The effect of virtual reality
According to the scientists, virtual reality distracted patients from the pain that would normally capture their full attention. However, the researchers admitted that it is possible that patients entered the operating room already knowing that virtual reality was going to help them. That could have had an effect on the results.
In the future, scientists hope to tests that can eliminate this possibility of a placebo effect. Among future trials, they will also measure the effects of the method on patients undergoing hip or knee surgery.
Previous experiments, such as the one that took place at St. Joseph’s Hospital in France, have already shown that this technique helps relieve patients.
This technique using virtual reality can offer many advantages to patients, but also to medical centers. For the first, they can suffer less during surgery and return home sooner. For hospitals, the use of virtual reality headsets could allow better management of drug stocks and beds, but also a reduction in waiting times.
The future will tell us if this new method will be retained in hospitals and health centers. In any case, it is a valuation of virtual reality technology.