Using Augmented Reality in neurosurgical training

Augmented Reality: Neurosurgery Game-Changer

In the ever-evolving realm of healthcare, augmented reality (AR) stands as a beacon of innovation, poised to revolutionize various industries. Within healthcare, particularly in the field of neurosurgery, AR has made remarkable strides, offering a glimpse into the future of enhanced visualization, realistic simulations, and precision that defies convention [1]. In this article, let’s explore with UpSurgeOn the basics of AR in neurosurgery and its benefits for Neurosurgery.

I. The Augmented Reality Revolution in Neurosurgery 

Using UpSurgeOn’s Augmented Reality Technology – Neurosurgery app in simulation training. Source: UpSurgeOn

1. AR Unveiled – Merging Real and Virtual Worlds:

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays digital information, such as images, videos, or 3D models, onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception and interaction with their environment. In neurosurgery, augmented reality has been meticulously tailored to unlock a myriad of advantages, including heightened visualization, lifelike simulations, and unprecedented precision [1].

2. Neurosurgery Leading the AR charge:

Neurosurgery has been at the forefront of AR technology, with the greatest contribution to the literature. Over the past decade, the volume of literature dedicated to augmented reality in neurosurgery has surged, a testament to its growing integration into surgical and clinical practice [1]. Key facets of augmented reality in neurosurgery encompass:

  • Training and Mastering skills with AR’s Guiding Hand: Augmented reality offers potential advantages for the training of neurosurgeons, allowing for efficient training and practice of major neurosurgical procedures outside the operating room. This is due to its  short processing times and the ability to create realistic simulations [1].
  • The Realism of AR Simulations: Augmented reality can create realistic simulations of surgical procedures, enabling trainees to practice in a safe and controlled environment [2]. This hands-on experience can help them develop the necessary skills and confidence before performing actual surgeries.
Using UpSurgeOn’s Augmented Reality technology to practice patient positioning. Source: UpSurgeOn
  • Navigating with AR Precision: Augmented reality empowers surgeons with accurate, personalized structural guidance through complex anatomical landscapes [3]. This real-time guidance can be invaluable during surgeries, offering a level of assistance that may not be available with traditional methods.
  • AR Efficiency – A Surgeon’s Trusted Partner: AR technology is not just a tool; it’s a partner in precision and efficiency, driving improved success rates in neurosurgical procedures [4]. This precision is a game-changer compared to conventional methods.
  • Integration for Comprehensive Care: Augmented reality can be integrated with other technologies, such as robotics and imaging modalities, to further enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of neurosurgical intervention. This integration allows for a more comprehensive and advanced approach to patient care.

II. The Benefits of AR Training compared to traditional methods

Using Augmented Reality to practice Pterional approach. Source: UpSurgeOn
  • Swift Training with Augmented Reality: AR’s rapid data processing translates to efficient training and practice of major neurosurgical procedures outside the operating room [1].This efficiency stands in stark contrast to traditional methods that demand more time and resources.
  • Immersive simulations: Learning by Doing : AR’s immersive simulations allow trainees to practice in a secure, controlled environment  [1]. This hands-on experience nurtures skills and instills the confidence needed for actual surgeries, an aspect often lacking in conventional methods.
  • Precision, Efficiency, and success: AR’s Triumph : Augmented reality employs navigational and stereotactic tools to provide real-time data, elevating accuracy and ensuring a safe neuronavigational approach. Studies have shown that immersive VR and AR training models can lead to improvements in accuracy, efficiency, and success rates in neurosurgical procedures [5]. This is a significant advantage over traditional methods, which may not provide the same level of precision and effectiveness.
  • Guided by AR Precision: Augmented reality offers precise, real-time structural guidance, allowing surgeons to navigate intricate anatomical regions with unmatched accuracy [6]. This real-time guidance can be invaluable during surgeries, offering a level of assistance that may not be available with traditional methods.
UpSurgeOn’s augmented reality technology. Source: UpSurgeOn
  • Skill Mastery with AR: AR’s interactive and immersive nature has the potential to foster long-term skill acquisition and retention [7]. Thanks to this advantage, trainees engage with information in a profound manner, ensuring better understanding and recall.
  • Affordable and Non-Invasive AR Training: Compared to traditional training methods using human and animal models, augmented reality technology is relatively low-cost and non-invasive [8]. This makes it more accessible and scalable for training a larger number of neurosurgeons.


In conclusion, augmented reality isn’t just a marvel; it’s a surgical revolution. It reshapes neurosurgery through enhanced visualization, lifelike simulations, and unparalleled precision. As augmented reality technology advances, it’s crucial for medical professionals to lead in innovation, integrating augmented reality into their training and practice. Embracing this surgical revolution enhances patient outcomes, reduces costs, and empowers healthcare experts to deliver exceptional care. Begin your journey to neurosurgical excellence with UpSurgeOn technologies today! Explore our transformative simulations and revolutionize your neurosurgical practice by visiting our website at!


  1. Cannizzaro, D., Zaed, I., Safa, A., Jelmoni, A. J., Composto, A., Bisoglio, A., … & Servadei, F. (2022). Augmented reality in neurosurgery, state of art and future projections. A systematic review. Frontiers in Surgery, 9, 227.
  2. Tagaytayan, R., Kelemen, A., & Sik-Lanyi, C. (2018). Augmented reality in neurosurgery. Archives of Medical Science, 14(3), 572-578.
  3. Steiert, C., Behringer, S. P., Kraus, L. M., Bissolo, M., Demerath, T., Beck, J., … & Reinacher, P. C. (2022). Augmented reality–assisted craniofacial reconstruction in skull base lesions—an innovative technique for single-step resection and cranioplasty in neurosurgery. Neurosurgical Review, 45(4), 2745-2755.
  4. Hazelden, B. (no date) The state of augmented reality in spine surgery – healthcentral. Available at: (Accessed: 24 October 2023).
  5. Durrani, S., Onyedimma, C., Jarrah, R., Bhatti, A., Nathani, K. R., Bhandarkar, A. R., … & Bydon, M. (2022). The virtual vision of neurosurgery: How augmented reality and virtual reality are transforming the neurosurgical operating room. World Neurosurgery.
  6. Si, W. X., Liao, X. Y., Qian, Y. L., Sun, H. T., Chen, X. D., Wang, Q., & Heng, P. A. (2019). Assessing performance of augmented reality-based neurosurgical training. Visual Computing for Industry, Biomedicine, and Art, 2(1), 1-10.
  7. Jean, W. C. (2022). Virtual and augmented reality in neurosurgery: the evolution of its application and study designs. World neurosurgery, 161, 459-464.
  8. Mishra, R., Narayanan, M. K., Umana, G. E., Montemurro, N., Chaurasia, B., & Deora, H. (2022). Virtual reality in neurosurgery: beyond neurosurgical planning. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(3), 1719.

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