Combining Stereoscopic Video and Virtual Reality Simulation to Maximize Education in Lateral Skull Base Surgery

Samuel R. Barber, Saurabh Jain, Michael A. Mooney, Kaith K. Almefty, Michael T. Lawton, Young Jun Son, Shawn M. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mastery of lateral skull base (LSB) surgery requires thorough knowledge of complex, 3-dimensional (3D) microanatomy and techniques. While supervised operation under binocular microscopy remains the training gold standard, concerns over operative time and patient safety often limit novice surgeons’ stereoscopic exposure. Furthermore, most alternative educational resources cannot meet this need. Here we present proof of concept for a tool that combines 3D-operative video with an interactive, stereotactic teaching environment. Stereoscopic video was recorded with a microscope during translabyrinthine approaches for vestibular schwannoma. Digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) temporal bone computed tomography images were segmented using 3D-Slicer. Files were rendered using a game engine software built for desktop virtual reality. The resulting simulation was an interactive immersion combining a 3D operative perspective from the lead surgeon’s chair with virtual reality temporal bone models capable of hands-on manipulation, label toggling, and transparency modification. This novel tool may alter LSB training paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)922-925
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • lateral skull base
  • stereoscopic
  • surgical simulation
  • temporal bone
  • video
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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