Virtual reality education program including three-dimensional individualized liver model and education videos: A pilot case report in a patient with hepatocellular carcinoma

Ann Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 2022 Aug 31;26(3):285-288. doi: 10.14701/ahbps.21-163. Epub 2022 Apr 27.


Three-dimensional (3D) modeling of the liver can be especially useful for both the surgeon and patient to understand the actual location of the tumor and planning the resection plane. Virtual reality (VR) can enhance the understanding of 3D structures and create an environment where the user can focus on contents provided. In the present study, a VR platform was developed using Unreal Engine 4 software (Epic Games, Potomac, MD, USA). Patient's liver based on magnetic resonance image was imported as a 3D model that could distinguish liver parenchyma, vascular structure, and cancer. Preoperative education videos for patients were developed. They could be viewed inside the VR platform. To evaluate the usefulness of VR education program for patients undergoing liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma, a randomized clinical trial evaluating the knowledge and anxiety of the patient was designed. The case presented in this report was the first experience of performing the VR education program and examining the knowledge and anxiety using questionnaires. When the knowledge score increased, the anxiety score also increased after the education program. Based on findings of this pilot case study, the timing and place where the questionnaire will be answered can be modified for formal initiation of the randomized controlled study to examine the usefulness of VR in patient education.

Keywords: Education; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Virtual reality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports