Learn Complex Surgeries through 3D Animation

Ophthalmic surgery is often a complex procedure and conventional teaching methods involving watching traditional videos have not been an effective approach for training students. A new approach has been created that better trains and equips students for their own time in the operating room.

3d medical illustration of an eyeball

(image created by The Danse)

Training Using 3D Animation

This training is called “Ophthalmic Operation Vienna” and was done by the Medical University of Vienna in the department of Ophthalmology. 172 students took part in the experiment and where divided into two groups. The first group viewed the 3D animations while the second group only saw the traditional surgical videos. The same narration was used on both groups. After viewing the two video options, students were then tested with multiple choice questions.

What was discovered after this process is that students who viewed the 3D training had a better understanding of the procedure. They learned the topographical aspect of the procedure, but they also excelled in the theoretical aspect of the procedure. It was determined that the 3D animation was a valuable supplement to other teaching methods. It may be interesting to note that women gained the most from the 3D group over the control group.

How It Was Set Up

In this test, five of the most common operations were used. The complexity of the eye makes it difficult to understand many of the procedures in a traditional training method. With the 3D teaching model, graphics, sound and animation were used to recreate the methods for cataract, retinal detachment, glaucoma, ablative refractive, and vitrectomy surgeries. A model eye was designed that followed the actual dimensions for an eye.

Three different views were used in the simulation. The first was filmed through the surgeon’s view with the operating microscope. The second view was the bystander’s view and was filmed from the side, which gave an overview of the entire procedure. The third view is the 3D animated sequence with sections of the model.

This test supports the view that while most people only retain around 10 to 15 percent of what they read and slightly more of what they hear, and up to 30 percent of what they see, this retention can be up to 50 percent when all of these methods are combined. The study supports the idea of using 3D simulation in more medical training settings to have better prepared students entering the real world.

sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16234460