Published on 04. January 2021

Audiovisual glasses distract from operations at Vivantes Auguste-Viktoria Hospital and Vivantes Breast Center

Cinema experience instead of fear in the operating room

The operating room becomes a movie theater: more and more surgeries are being performed with regional anesthesia, while patients remain awake. At the Vivantes Auguste-Viktoria Hospital and the Vivantes Breast Center, patients are now distracted from the surgical procedure by audiovisual glasses. The distraction can reduce stress and anxiety during a surgical procedure.

Less aerosols during regional anesthesia

Regional anesthesia is gentler on the body than general anesthesia and also safer for the surgical team in corona times because fewer aerosols are produced, which is why it is recommended by various medical societies. Due to relaxed Covid 19 restrictions, scheduled surgeries can currently be resumed.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Raspé, head physician of the Clinic for Anesthesia, Surgical Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy at Vivantes Auguste-Viktoria Hospital, reports on initial experiences: "We have already used the glasses for orthopedic and urological procedures. The patients think the new video glasses are great and are totally enthusiastic. That's because during spinal anesthesia they are awake and can choose from a variety of videos, which usually distract them completely visually and auditorily from the surgery."

Brain is preoccupied with positive impressions - not surgery

As the manufacturer explains, scary impressions of the surgery fade into the background and the brain is preoccupied with positive impressions. The video glasses with integrated headphones can also reduce excitement and anxiety before surgery and afterwards in the recovery room. Patients can choose for themselves between about 100 films, nature documentaries or concerts using a remote control.

Dr. Heiko Spank, head physician of the Clinic for Special Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma Surgery at Vivantes Auguste-Viktoria Hospital, explains how the video glasses help: "We do everything we can to offer our patients the most pleasant and safe atmosphere possible. For various reasons, regional anesthesia, i.e., spinal anesthesia, is better than general anesthesia for most endoprosthetic procedures, because this is gentler on the circulatory system and those who have undergone surgery usually get back on their feet more quickly. Then, with the video goggles, our patients now have the possibility of not noticing anything of the actual surgery, although they are awake - but relaxed in the film to visit great landscapes or the like. The effect on satisfaction among those undergoing surgery is impressive."

The audiovisual device has already been in use at Vivantes Hospital "Am Urban" since 2018. Chief physician of the Vivantes Breast Center Dr. Marion Paul says, "The day before surgery, we ask the patients if they would like to use the glasses and let them try them on so that everything goes well on the day of surgery. Most already use the glasses in the surgery waiting area and during the procedure. Another good thing about the glasses from the point of view of us surgeons is that the patients still notice when we talk to them."

The system is completely disinfectable and the earpieces are interchangeable, so hygiene rules can be followed.

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