Virtual Reality for Pain in Pancreaticobiliary Disorder

Condition: Pancreaticobiliary disorder


Key Inclusion Criteria

  • At least 18 years old
  • Diagnosed with chronic biliary type abdominal pain or pancreatic pain at least three months prior to the study, in the absence of abnormal liver and pancreas chemistry or abnormal abdominal imaging
  • Has average pain score of ≥3 out of 10 in numeric rating scale (NRS) for at least the average of 3 episodes each week

Key Exclusion Criteria

  • Evidence of acute or chronic pancreatitis, biliary stones, bile duct stricture 
  • History of motion sickness and vertigo; experiencing active nausea or vomiting (including pregnant women)

Full Study Name

A Prospective Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effect of Virtual Reality as a Treatment Option for Pain in Patients With Functional Pancreaticobiliary Disorder or Type 3 Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (IRB no. 57560)


The purpose of this study is to evaluate a virtual reality (VR) tool (i.e., Oculus Go, a head-mounted VR display), an over-the-counter pain relief device and remote clinical monitoring on patients with pain from pancreaticobiliary or type 3 Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD). Researchers aim to determine whether the use of the VR intervention can improve a participant's ability to perform everyday tasks, reduce the amount of time missed from work, limit the extent to which pain interferes with a participant's life and improve overall health.

Participants will receive standard-of-care treatment for their condition, as well as the Oculus Go VR Headset for pain relief. This VR headset is a device that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but is sold in stores and poses minimal to no risks. Patients will be asked to use the VR unit for no more than 15 minutes at least three times a day and as needed during moments of pain. They will also receive a daily questionnaire to document pain levels and use of medication.

Principal Investigator

Simon Lo, MD

Liliana (Claudia) Bancila
Phone: 310‐423‐3872