VR Reduces the Need for Sedation During Surgery by Up to 90%, Finds Research

The technology could provide a valuable drug-free alternative for pain management.

When we think of virtual reality it is usually as a fun entertaining activity. It turns out however the technology can have some interesting useful applications.

One such application is as a pain reduction method for patients undergoing locoregional anesthesia for orthopedic surgeries. The technology, it seems, significantly relaxes the patients reducing the need for intravenous sedation by up to 90%.

Called virtual reality hypnosis distraction (VRHD), the technique could provide a valuable drug-free alternative for pain management free of the negative effects of traditional intravenous sedation.

“Given the immersive and distracting nature of the virtual reality experience, this technology has the ability to act as a preventive intervention transforming local anesthesia into a less distressing and potentially pain-free medical procedure”, says Dr Dragos Chirnoaga from CUB Erasmus Hospital, Brussels, Belgium who co-led the research.

To test whether VRHD could aid during surgery the team looked at a randomized trial of 60 adults scheduled for orthopedic surgery. They put 40 of them through a VRHD therapy that consisted of wearing virtual reality goggles and headphones and watching a relaxing video.

The video showed content of a “submarine ride and life under the sea, with a calming voice guiding the journey and focused on slowing the patient’s breathing rhythm.” They then separated the patients in three groups.

By  Loukia Papadopoulos | Interesting Engineering

Image Credit: Depositphotos


About Peter Coffaro 510 Articles
Peter Coffaro is a growth-driven and strategic executive with over 25 years of progressive management success in the medical device industry. With a proven track record and recognized expertise, Peter has established himself as one of the top influencers in medical sales, as acknowledged by prestigious publications such as the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and MedReps.com. Throughout his career, Peter has accumulated 10 years of combined sales management experience, excelling in various roles including Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. He has worked for industry-leading orthopedic companies such as Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker, solidifying his deep knowledge and network within the field. Peter’s passion for innovation and emerging technologies led him to found OrthoFeed, an award-winning blog covering digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Through this platform, he stays at the forefront of the industry and contributes to the dissemination of valuable insights. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson, demonstrating his exceptional contributions and impact on the organization. His expertise extends to areas such as organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter earned a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University, further complementing his comprehensive understanding of the medical field. With his wealth of experience, strategic mindset, and dedication to advancing healthcare, Peter Coffaro is a valuable asset and leader in the medical device industry.

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