A virtual reality viewer against anxiety and pain and anesthesia becomes light

A virtual reality viewer against anxiety and pain and anesthesia becomes light

Reduce anxiety and pain before, during and after medical procedures. And do it thanks to a hypnotic reality viewer, a tool with the appearance of a game but with the power to hypnotize the patient, who in this way can take fewer sedative anxiolytics and painkillers, face fewer side effects and recover sooner.

This anxiety and stress management technology has been described in the section Letters to the editor of the scientific journal Minerva Anesthesiology by Italian intensive care anesthetists, in particular the published case concerned an 81-year-old woman undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Valid alternative to drugs

About 70% of patients before, during and after a medical procedure – from arthroscopy to colonoscopy for example – experience stress and anxiety, “a discomfort that is counteracted with opioids and anxiolytics. These drugs, however, expose them to a series of consequences: nausea, vomiting, concentration and memory disorders, and sore throat and dental lesions due to intubation.

And they can cause problems for fragile people, elderly patients with cardiovascular or renal pathologies for example”, he explains Fausto D’Agostinoresuscitator anesthetist of the Bio-medical Campus (where the hypnotic reality viewer was introduced in the orthopedic, endoscopy and urology operating rooms) and first author of the work described on Minerva Anesthesiology.

Eight worlds and a guiding voice

This technology “which we were the first to introduce in Italy, and which we have already applied to around thirty patients at the Bio-medical Campus – he says – induces a hypnotic state which reduces discomfort, and makes the patient more collaborative, leaving him with a positive memory” .
A positive memory? “The viewer sends back three-dimensional images relating to 8 worlds – continues the expert – 8 relaxing landscapes: sea, nature, mountain, ocean… At the same time, through headphones the patient listens to music and a ‘guide’ voice that provides him with instructions on how to relax”.

What interventions can it be used for?

The visor cannot be used for operations involving general anesthesia, of course, “while the technology is suitable for procedures under loco-regional anesthesia, that is, when we need to block a part of the body with the patient remaining alert: therefore it is good for arthroscopies of the hip, for knee replacement operations, for inguinal hernias – recalls the specialist – for endoscopic examinations, such as colonoscopies. The hypnotic reality viewer is also very suitable for some pediatric procedures which agitate children a lot, such as insertion of a venous access”.

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