Sleep Through Your Next Surgery in Virtual Reality
Surgery can cause anxiety and sedation has been the answer–but what if VR can help?
The Possibilities of VR
During the course of this study, those that used VR, in addition to sedatives, got to choose their immersive experience. Of course, all of these experiences were designed to be calming. There were options like a 360-degree view of a meadow or a forest, meditations, or even peaceful videos.
What is exciting about this, is the chance for further exploration of the effects VR has on surgical patient satisfaction. Even more, the study found that those who experienced their surgery VR, left 22 minutes earlier than the control group. Virtual reality offers the opportunity for shorter hospital stays, decreased risk, and financial savings.
Virtual reality also offers the opportunity for the medical team to communicate with the patient and vice versa. Since the patient is awake during the procedure, local anesthetics can be monitored effectively based on the patient’s pain levels. This, in turn, alleviates the need for more sedatives than necessary.
In conclusion, considering the benefits of sedation and anxiety reduction may be important in enhancing surgical procedures. There are many potential, often harmful, side effects that occur when a patient is given anesthetics. There is anxiety around this, but also, just around the thought of having surgery and all the risks involved. If we can lessen the anxiety, manage the pain just as well, and offer an experience where the patient leaves satisfied, I think we’ve done a good job.