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UVA Physician Uses Virtual Reality To Introduce Less Invasive Thyroid Procedure

Virtual Reality Training for Medical Procedures
Virtual  Reality Training for Medical Procedures. (Photo: University of Virginia)

The University of Virginia is pioneering a less invasive treatment for thyroid patients and is using virtual reality training to teach other doctors how to do the procedure. 

About 200 physicians put on VR headsets at a Miami symposium last week to see how to do it…

Dr. Ziv Haskal:  It places the viewer in an unattainable kind of right-there-next-to-me seat.

UVA’s Dr. Ziv Haskal has his own studio to video the procedure

Haskal:  Making the experience encompassing, impactful and ideally de-mystifying it for both doctors and patients.

The thermal ablation procedure uses a heated wand to treat non-cancerous lumps in the thyroid and is new in this country.

Haskal:  I can do pin-point treatments and avoid injury to a vocal chord nerve, which was of particular concern to this patient or would be for any of us.

Dr. Haskal is eager to share the technique and is convinced virtual reality training is the future for this and other procedures.   

Haskal:  There is zero doubt in my mind that this will be an essential, potent tool in this kind of training, moving ahead new treatment adoption, helping with complex and even basic medical procedural training and will be directly linked to improve quality across all branches of health care.