Surgical Theater and University Hospitals Case Medical Center Create Virtual 3D Models that Neurosurgeons Can Feel and Manipulate for the Ultimate in Patient-Specific Practice Prior to Brain Surgery

MORRISVILLE, N.C., June 14, 2012– Geomagic®, a global company providing 3D technology solutions for digital reality, announced that its customer, Surgical Theater LLC, is being spotlighted at an event held at the White House starting at 9 am ET today to highlight advanced broadband Internet technologies with dramatic potential.  Sponsored by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House event will include a live demonstration of Surgical Theater’s Surgery Rehearsal Platform (SRP), the first simulator on the market to use patients’ own CT and MRI images so that surgeons can practice on the patient’s unique anatomical variations in advance. The platform helps enable surgeries that proceed swiftly and lessen the risks of unforeseen outcomes.   Force feedback haptic devices and OpenHaptics™ developer’s software from Geomagic, acquired from haptics industry pioneer Sensable Technologies in April, are what provide a realistic sense of touch to the platform.

The White House event also will feature neurosurgeons, Dr. Warren Selman and Dr. Andrew Sloan of University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, in a telepresence application where mentor and novice surgeons use the SRP’s virtual model of a patient and explore surgical options. Drs. Selman and Sloan are clinical collaborators who helped incubate the SRP, and also will explain the role of virtual reality in saving operating time and helping avoid adverse consequences, such as a stroke.

“It’s vitally important that we embrace new computer simulation technologies in medicine as part of our efforts to reduce surgical errors and improve patient outcomes,” said Warren Selman, M.D., Neurosurgeon-in-Chief of University Hospitals. “The Surgical Theater team has made the surgical rehearsal platform ultra-realistic, right down to the sense of touch, and the anatomy is based on the patient’s unique preoperative imaging. Surgeons can rehearse operative approaches and techniques based on the particular anatomy they will encounter in each individual patient, just as a fighter pilot can rehearse their specific mission in a flight simulator prior to takeoff.” Dr. Selman continued that “as a neurosurgeon myself, I strongly believe that my colleagues, and other surgeons performing technically challenging procedures, will embrace the surgical rehearsal platform concept of ‘pre-living the future,’ and it will emerge as an essential component of preparing for surgical procedures to improve outcomes.”

The Surgery Rehearsal Platform (SRP) uploads and transforms medical images, such as CT and MRI scans of patients, into life-like, dynamic and interactive 3D models. The initial offering is targeted at brain aneurysm surgery, one of the most technically complex procedures a neurosurgeon performs. A cerebral aneurysm is a ballooning of a blood vessel in the brain that is often treated by microsurgical techniques involving the placement of a small titanium clip across the neck of the aneurysm.

Holding a Phantom™ haptic stylus to operate as if they were holding a surgical instrument, the surgeon can “feel” the virtual tissues, note their reaction to different shaped surgical clips, feel the results of more or less pressure on the aneurysm, and practice different angles of insertion.  By providing a realistic environment, it allows the surgeon to make critical decisions in advance, on an exact replica of the patient, in a ‘risk-free’ virtual rehearsal environment.

The SRP evolved from a chance meeting in a Cleveland area coffee shop in 2009, between Dr. Selman and two former Israeli Air Force officers who had developed flight simulators for their country. Dr. Selman became intrigued with the idea of applying virtual reality to the realm of surgery, and a collaboration followed. Surgical Theater will begin a clinical trial of the SRP later this year and is placing units in various medical education institutions’ residency programs. Dr. Sloan is developing additional neurosurgical simulations for the SRP platform, such as the removal of benign and malignant tumors located in critical areas of the brain as well as microvascular decompression, pituitary tumors, and acoustic neuroma surgeries.

“We believe that once a surgeon experiences the clinical benefits he or she can gain from ‘pre-living the future’ of their patient’s case by rehearsing and planning the surgery with the SRP, they will not want to perform surgery without the SRP again,” said Moty Avisar, CEO of Surgical Theater.

“Surgical Theater’s application of digital reality to improve the lives of patients is the core of Geomagic’s vision of benefiting humanity,” said Ping Fu, CEO of Geomagic.  “By marrying the sense of sight and touch, simulators like this can help transform medical training and education, reduce surgical time and improve the efficacy of surgery.”

About Surgical Theater LLC

Surgical Theater LLC produces virtual realistic and interactive scenes where surgeons are able to plan, rehearse and tele-Mentor toward their special missions. Surgical Theater solutions help doctors “pre-live the future” as a vitally important part of a national effort to reduce medical errors and improve outcomes.  The founders of Surgical Theater ( have more than 20 years in research and development for the Israeli Air Force creating advanced large-scale flight simulator programs.   For more information visit


About University Hospitals
University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers, and primary care physicians.  At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center.  The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to

About Geomagic

Geomagic ( is a global company dedicated to advancing and applying 3D technology for the benefit of humanity. Geomagic’s scanning and design software solutions are used to capture and model 3D content from physical objects, organically sculpt complex shapes, and prepare products for manufacturing. In addition, the company produces powerful 3D metrology and inspection software that verifies dimensional quality by comparing as-built products to master designs. Geomagic’s Sensable Phantom haptic devices simulate the sense of touch in a digital environment. 

Geomagic’s software and hardware are utilized by world-class customers in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer products, toys, collectibles, coin design, jewelry, fine art, heritage restoration, research, education, mold making, entertainment, training and surgical simulation. In fact, some of the world’s leading companies and research organizations use Geomagic software, including Ford, BMW,  Boeing, Harley DavidsonTimberland, Mattel/Fisher Price, Lego, Pratt & WhitneyNASA, Schneider Electronic, 3M, Danahe, and Invisalign. Geomagic is based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, with an office in Boston, subsidiaries in Europe and Asia, and channel partners worldwide.


Geomagic, Geomagic Studio, Geomagic Qualify, Geomagic Qualify Probe, Geomagic Spark, Wrap, Geomagic Wrap, Phantom, OpenHaptics, Omni, Freeform, Claytools, Sensable and Sensable Technologies, Inc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of Geomagic Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.