Skip to main content

“First of Its Kind”: Cutting-Edge Virtual Reality Thyroid Ablation Case Presented at CIO 2019

“First of Its Kind”: Cutting-Edge Virtual Reality Thyroid Ablation Case Presented at CIO 2019


Saturday, October 12, 2019 (Miami, FL): Today the Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO) experienced an educational first-in-technology presentation by Course Co-Director Ziv Haskal, MD, Professor/Fellowship Director, Interventional Radiology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dr. Haskal shared the first virtual reality thyroid ablation case, performed by University of Virginia Associate Professor Auh Whan Park, MD, in order to highlight the benefits of image-guided ablation for U.S. clinicians. He noted, “The ability to replace open, often disfiguring surgery with image-guided ablation for benign thyroid masses is well established outside the U.S.” Dr. Haskal has worked through educational channels for several years in an effort to communicate the benefits of image-guided ablation. He hopes attendees will come to a better understanding of the procedure through the benefits of virtual reality, which is the next best thing to viewing a case live and in person. Viewing the case in virtual reality placed physicians “in the room, right there, part of the procedure with Dr. Park.” Dr. Haskal hopes attendees will come to understand the utility of image-guided ablation and begin to consider the necessary steps to offer it to their patients.

The session opened with a talk on guidelines and trends in thyroid nodule evaluation by Ann Podrasky, MD, of the Miami Cancer Institute. Dr. Robert Udelsman, also from the Miami Cancer Institute, spoke on surgical and minimally invasive treatments for thyroid cancer. Prior to the viewing of his thyroid ablation case in virtual reality, case operator Auh Whan Park, MD, of the University of Virginia, spoke on ablation of benign thyroid nodules, discussing evidence, guidelines, meta-analyses, and approaches. The next presentation involved viewing the thyroid ablation case and was moderated by Ziv Haskal, MD.

The virtual reality case required four cameras and was filmed over two hours. Editing brought the case down to eleven minutes. Describing the process and technology behind the virtual reality viewing, Dr. Haskal commented, “It’s not just setting up a camera. We have a full production studio for virtual reality (VR) which includes a VR editor, an Emmy award-winning producer, subject matter expertise, film and sound production, and agreement with software companies for development of the platform that you are seeing.”

After viewing the case, further discussion included Drs. Ziv Haskal, Constantino Peña, case operator Auh Whan Park, Robert Udelsman, Ann Podrasky, and A. Nick Kurup.

About the Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO)

Renowned for its originality, practicality, and focus on improving patient care, CIO, an HMP event, highlights the most viable and sought-after treatments in the rapidly expanding field of interventional oncology. CIO is led by course directors Ripal Gandhi, MD; Ziv Haskal, MD; Constantino Peña, MD; Daniel Sze, MD; and Alda Tam, MD. The program contains a mix of didactic lectures, case presentations and debates between experts, hands-on workshops, and pre-recorded cases woven together with audience interactivity through polling and question and answer sessions. For more information, visit

About HMP 

HMP is the force behind Healthcare Made Practical – and is a multichannel leader in health care events and education, with a mission to improve patient care. The company produces accredited medical education events and clinically relevant, evidence-based content for the global health care community across a range of therapeutic areas. Its brands include Consultant360, the year-round, award-winning platform relied upon by primary care providers and other specialists; Psych Congress, the largest independent mental health meeting in the U.S.; EMS World Expo, North America’s largest EMT and paramedic event; and the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC), the largest wound care meeting in the world. For more information, visit

Back to Top