Virtual Reality Can Make the Pain of Surgery Easier to Bear
January 31, 2017
(The Atlantic) – Ana will be awake for the operation, and she’s feeling scared. As the surgeon readies his scalpel, her blood pressure is 183/93, even higher than usual. Patients undergoing procedures like this often have to be sedated to cope with the pain and anxiety of being under the knife, but not today. Instead, José Luis Mosso Vazquez, who is supervising the operation, fits a sleek, black headset over Anna’s eyes and adjusts the Velcro straps. The surgeon makes his first cut and the blood spills in a crimson stream down Ana’s leg. She’s surrounded by medical equipment—stools, trolleys, swabs, syringes, with super bright surgical lamps suspended above the bed and her vital signs displayed on monitors just behind. But Ana is oblivious.