To evaluate the history and current knowledge of computer-augmented reality in the field of surgery and its potential goals in education, surgeon training, and patient treatment.
National Library of Medicine's database and additional library searches.
Only articles suited to surgical sciences with a well-defined aim of study, methodology, and precise description of outcome were included.
Augmented reality is an effective tool in executing surgical procedures requiring low-performance surgical dexterity; it remains a science determined mainly by stereotactic registration and ergonomics. Strong evidence was found that it is an effective teaching tool for training residents. Weaker evidence was found to suggest a significant influence on surgical outcome, both morbidity and mortality. No evidence of cost-effectiveness was found.
Augmented reality is a new approach in executing detailed surgical operations. Although its application is in a preliminary stage, further research is needed to evaluate its long-term clinical impact on patients, surgeons, and hospital administrators. Its widespread use and the universal transfer of such technology remains limited until there is a better understanding of registration and ergonomics.