Hollywood special effects are helping surgeons practice brain surgery

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Brain-surgery training can be very different from the real experience in an operating room. Cadavers are expensive and so neurosurgeons-in-training typically watch videos of the surgeries, then practice on fruits and vegetables. Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital wanted a more true-to-life experience and turned to Hollywood.

“We needed that kind of expertise to fill out what we were trying to accomplish in life-like, realistic rehearsal,” says Peter Weinstock, director of the pediatrics simulation program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

They worked with the Emmy-award winning special effects group Fractured FX to create a realistic model of a 14-year-old boy. The group is known for movies like Watchmen and 300:Rise of an Empire.

Watch our video to see what the model looks like and how neurosurgeons will use it.