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Surgical technology

Virtual brain surgery centre launched in Toronto

TORONTO – A new virtual-reality brain surgery training centre that will benefit Canadians undergoing brain surgery has opened at the Toronto Western Hospital. The technology was developed by the National Research Council of Canada.

“This new virtual neurosurgery training centre is a very welcome addition to the Krembil Neuroscience Centre,” said Dr. Robert Bell, president and Chief Executive Officer at University Health Network. “It is a significant leap forward in surgical training and in patient care, allowing physicians to train on simulated brain tumours and to rehearse more complex surgeries specifically tailored to each patient.”

In September 2010, federal Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear was at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University to open the first new virtual reality neurosurgery training centre in Canada. The Montreal and Toronto facilities are two of seven new virtual training centres to be established across the country in London, Winnipeg and Calgary. Centres already exist in Halifax and Ottawa.

Developed by the National Research Council of Canada, this state of the art technology is being installed at the Toronto Western Hospital’s Krembil Neuroscience Centre in collaboration with the International Centre for Telesimulation and Innovation in Medical Education, at the University Health Network in Toronto.

The new facility will provide neurosurgeons with a new, highly specialized tool-a virtual reality neurosurgery simulator-to enhance training and to practice patient-specific brain surgery. This will help reduce the risk of complications during surgery, speed up recovery, and streamline time in the operating room.

While Canada continues to lead the world in next generation virtual reality medical simulation, this new technology is laying the groundwork for sharing know-how and advanced made-in-Canada solutions with the world.

Posted March 24, 2011