Using 3D Animation to Prepare Patients for Surgery

Patients over the years have been known on occasion to give information to a doctor that they learned from popular medical TV shows such as ER.  They will associate a surgery or other procedure with something they saw on a show and assume that is what can be expected in real life.  While life doesn’t always follow a well-acted script, the principle does bring up a valid point: people remember things they see. Preparing Your Patients

This idea can be used in a real-world setting to the benefit of your patients.  Instead of just telling them how a procedure is going to work in a consultation, you can show them through 3D animation.  With detailed graphics and realistic sound and images, you can give them more information that they will remember.

The 3D simulation doesn’t have to be just about the procedure, but can include recovery and after care at home.  You can demonstrate exercises or certain treatments you want them to engage in when they return home from the procedure.  This better prepares them for what to expect than just describing it in words.

Many plastic surgeons use this technique to help their patients understand what results they can expect from a certain procedure.  They can show the exact procedure as well as the differences in appearance right after the surgery and months later.  This helps to ensure that the patient will be better prepared for what they will see in the mirror prior to the surgical procedure.

Since plastic surgery is a visual type of surgery where many patients are looking for immediate visible results, 3D simulation is often beneficial to convey the right message.  However, it is not the only medical focus to benefit from visual presentations.  Dentists also use this technique to explain everything from whitening processes to complex dental surgery.  Orthopedics can also utilize this to demonstrate recovery time from surgery and what type of therapy can be expected as well as the recovery process as they gradually regain use of the affected area.

Patients can be put at ease better with a reproduction of a procedure than just with an explanation given by a doctor.  They will be more likely to retain the information regarding what they must do as well as remembering what to expect through the different stages of the procedure.  Being prepared and informed will make them feel better and make them a better, more compliant patient for their doctor.