A team at the private Cromwell Hospital in London used a £2,700 Vision Pro headset to repair the spine of a male patient.

A scrub nurse working alongside the surgeon wore the device to help prepare, keep track of the procedure, and choose the right tools.

The device allowed them to see the real world but with superimposed virtual screens in front of them showing vital information – known as augmented reality.

Two NHS trusts are already in talks with Exex, the US firm behind the AI software, to potentially start using it. The operation – carried out by surgeon Syed Aftab a fortnight ago – comes as the Chancellor last week called for the health service to embrace AI.

In his Budget speech Jeremy Hunt said he would plough billions into modernising NHS IT systems in a bid to boost productivity and cut inefficiency.

Apple’s Vision Pro is not yet available here. Costing $3,500 in the US, it was designed to create an immersive experience while playing computer games or watching films.

Suvi Verho, lead scrub nurse at London Independent Hospital, said the technology was a ‘gamechanger’, adding: ‘It eliminates human error. It eliminates the guesswork.

‘It gives you confidence in surgery.’

The underlying AI software also keeps a note of each stage of the operation – and in future will measure how well it went against similar procedures performed by other surgeons.

Mr Aftab said the software had the power to turn a scrub nurse he had never worked with – which is a regular occurrence – into someone with ten years’ experience.

He added that the technology would ‘superpower’ his operating team into the equivalent of a Formula One pit crew, saying: ‘That’s the idea – that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never been in a pitstop in your life. You just put the headset on.’