Jamie Clarkson, MD, a hand surgeon specialist at East Lansing-based Michigan State University Healthcare, is using virtual reality as part of his procedures, NPR affiliate WKAR reported April 12.
Dr. Clarkson gives VR tools to patients undergoing awake procedures. The surgeon said that the tools reduce anxiety, increase joy and decrease injection pain for patients with needle-phobia.
“When they arrive, they’re given some local anesthetic in one of the rooms. Once the patient is numb, wearing VR is just fun. And we introduce some education in the VR as well,” Dr. Clarkson told WKAR. “We give them their preoperative instructions, their post-operative instructions, and they end up at the end of their procedure having had a joyful, fun time. They’ve been talking to me throughout the show. We’re often joking about what they’re watching and they’re mindful. They don’t wake up in a haze. They wake up mindful, and they know what their post-operative instructions are.”