Shoulder surgery under locoregional anaesthesia and virtual reality


Recently, the surgeons of the Shoulder Institute and the anaesthetists of the RHENA Clinic in Strasbourg have been performing shoulder operations under locoregional anaesthesia alone, without general anaesthesia.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is most often performed under general anaesthesia, due to the discomfort for the patient related to the position, the proximity of the head to the operating field, the movements and noises transmitted by the instruments and the duration of the operations.

However, for this surgery, general anaesthesia carries specific risks related to the half-seated position of the patient. These risks are mainly related to a drop in blood pressure, which, if significant and if it lasts, can lead to cerebral ischemia with potentially dramatic consequences.

For this technique of pure local anaesthesia, HypnoVR allows even the most anxious patients to escape into a bubble of comfort during the operation.

The scenarios in the headset combine immersive 3D landscapes, music composed using music therapy techniques and specific hypnotic text, with positive suggestions to build confidence and facilitate post-operative rehabilitation.

  • The benefit is firstly for the patient: no risk linked to anaesthesia, no side effects linked to the injected products, no need to go to the recovery room, accelerated procedure.

  • The benefit is also for the surgical team, which increases the safety of the operation.

  • The health establishment is also interested, as the technique makes it possible to streamline the care process and shorten the length of stay in outpatient surgery departments.

All in all, a triply beneficial development!

Denis Graff, anaesthetist and resuscitator at the Rhéna Clinic in Strasbourg and co-founder of HypnoVR.

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