Impact of examinees’ stereopsis and near visual acuity on laparoscopic virtual reality performance
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Laparoscopic surgery represents specific challenges, such as the reduction of a three-dimensional anatomic environment to two dimensions. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the loss of the third dimension on laparoscopic virtual reality (VR) performance.
We compared a group of examinees with impaired stereopsis (group 1, n = 28) to a group with accurate stereopsis (group 2, n = 29). The primary outcome was the difference between the mean total score (MTS) of all tasks taken together and the performance in task 3 (eye–hand coordination), which was a priori considered to be the most dependent on intact stereopsis.
The MTS and performance in task 3 tended to be slightly, but not significantly, better in group 2 than in group 1 [MTS: −0.12 (95 % CI −0.32, 0.08; p = 0.234); task 3: −0.09 (95 % CI −0.29, 0.11; p = 0.385)]. The difference of MTS between simulated impaired stereopsis between group 2 (by attaching an eye patch on the adominant eye in the 2nd run) and the first run of group 1 was not significant (MTS: p = 0.981; task 3: p = 0.527).
We were unable to demonstrate an impact of impaired examinees’ stereopsis on laparoscopic VR performance. Individuals with accurate stereopsis seem to be able to compensate for the loss of the third dimension in laparoscopic VR simulations.
KeywordsLaparoscopy Virtual reality Simulation Stereopsis Visual impairment
The authors would like to thank Martina Vitz and Jéròme Gapany of the Laparoscopic Training Center Zurich, Switzerland, for their support in the realization of this study. This study was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. 3200B0-120722/1). Part of this work was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Ophthalmology (SOG) in 2012.
Conflict of interest
Henry Hoffmann, Rebecca Ruiz-Schirinzi, Salome Dell-Kuster and Professors David Goldblum, Daniel Oertli, Dieter Hahnloser and Rachel Rosenthal have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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