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Chennai Hospital Using Apple Vision Pro to Perform Laparoscopic Surgery

Written by : Jayati Dubey

May 9, 2024

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The surgeon at GEM Hospital has used the Apple Vision Pro headset for over two months to perform laparoscopic and open surgeries.

A team of surgeons at GEM Hospital, Chennai, has leveraged the Apple Vision Pro headset in an innovative manner, conducting over 30 laparoscopic surgeries, which include procedures for stomach cancer and gallbladder issues.

With the features of Apple's latest wearable device, launched in February 2024, the surgeons achieved exceptional precision and comfort. This headset, designed for both professional and personal use, offers functionalities within a mixed-reality setting.

Laparoscopic, or keyhole surgeries, involve creating a small incision in the patient's abdomen and inserting a tube-like camera to provide real-time video footage from inside the body. This live feed from the camera is displayed on a surgical monitor, assisting surgeons and their teams in performing the procedure with precision.

Describing the usual procedure, Dr R Parthasarathi, surgical gastroenterologist & COO of GEM Hospitals, said, "Usually, we have a single 55-inch 4K resolution surgical monitor in the operation theatre. Two surgeons and two support staff must view that single monitor, which means that each one needs to turn towards the monitor and watch the real-time video. This requires more time and effort from the operating team".

He further stated that he has been using the Apple Vision Pro headset for more than two months to perform laparoscopic and open surgeries.

How does Apple Vision Pro Assist in Surgery?

Dr Parthasarathy explained that he can observe whatever the laparoscopic probe captures in real time through his headset, which is presented in a mixed-reality format.

Mixed reality enables users to simultaneously view digitally created images while remaining fully aware of their real-world surroundings. He can magnify the view of the patient's internal organs to the size of a wall, allowing for detailed examination.

Dr Parthasarathi also highlighted the efficiency gains achieved through the Apple Vision Pro headset. While the surgeon utilizes the headset for visualization, assistants can simultaneously view the video on a standard 4K monitor.

This dual-screen setup streamlines the surgical workflow and enhances collaboration among the operating team.

Key Features

One of the standout features of the Apple Vision Pro headset is its ability to display multiple screens of the user's choice.

Dr Parthasarathi said that he can access and view various medical data, including CT and MRI scans, simply by looking around during surgery. The headset also facilitates real-time video streaming to senior doctors for consultation and feedback.

He added that in addition to its utility in laparoscopic procedures, the Apple Vision Pro headset proves invaluable in recording open surgeries for educational purposes.

The built-in cameras allow surgeons to capture the entire procedure, providing valuable training material for budding surgeons and medical students.

Dr Parthasarathi also emphasized the advantages of using the headset over traditional surgical monitors.

The immersive mixed-reality experience eliminates visual disturbances and reflections caused by bright lights in the operating theater. Furthermore, the headset offers greater flexibility and reduces neck strain associated with prolonged viewing, Dr Parthasarathi noted.

Released in February 2024, Apple's Vision Pro headset, priced at $3499, is not yet officially accessible in India.

Surgeons from Chennai have reached out to Apple and various Apple-user platforms to highlight the utility of this mixed reality cum spatial computing device in surgical procedures. They are currently awaiting a response from the California-based tech company.


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