Virtual Reality Assisted Anaesthesia During Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Report of 115 Cases

José Luis Mosso Vázquez,1 *Brenda K. Wiederhold,2,3 Ian Miller,4 Mark D. Wiederhold2

1. School of Medicine, Universidad Panamericana, Campus Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
2. The Virtual Reality Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA
3. The Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium
4. Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California, USA
*Correspondence to

Disclosure: Mark and Brenda Wiederhold own the Virtual Reality Medical Center in San Diego, California, USA. There are no competing interests to declare for José Luis Mosso Vázquez or Ian Miller.
Received: 27.10.16 Accepted: 28.11.16
Citation: EMJ Innov. 2017;1[1]:75-82.


Objective: The utility of virtual reality (VR) pain management to reduce visceral or autonomic responses is presented in 115 cases during diagnostic upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy.

Methodology: 115 patients with peptic disease and gastro-oesophageal reflux were given an upper GI endoscopy with local anaesthesia. They were divided into two groups, 56 treated with VR and 59 without VR during procedures. A 10-point Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain was administered to patients and the physician rated level of stress on a 3-point scale.

Results: Overall, visceral responses during oesophageal, stomach, and duodenum endoscopy were reduced using VR. Overall pain was significantly lower in the VR group than the control group with a moderate effect size. Physician stress was also reduced in the VR group, allowing greater accuracy and a shorter procedure time. A total of 115 satisfactory GI endoscopy procedures were carried out with no complications.

Conclusions: VR therapy considerably reduces the need for medication, effectively lowering costs for public health institutions and decreasing patient complications and recovery time.

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