Surgical Research Updates journal recently published “Virtual Reality Assisted Anesthesia (VRAA) during Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Report of 115 Cases— Analysis of Physiological Responses.” The second report of this study focused on patients’ physiological responses to stress and pain during gastrointestinal surgery. Researchers from Interactive Media Institute, Virtual Reality Medical Center in San Diego, and the Alberto Pisanty Clinic, and Panamerican University in Mexico City participated. Results indicate lower heart rate and respiration rate (physiological indicators of stress) in patients using VR than those who did not.
These findings support a previous publication of self-report pain scores and highlight the usefulness of VR to reduce physiological responses to stress and decrease pain without medication. These findings have large implications in surgical practice moving forward. Reduced need for medication like anesthesia help lower medical costs, reduce the risk complications, and reduce patient recovery time.
Brenda K. Wiederhold
Virtual Reality Medical Center