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Surgeon Performs World's First 4X HD Surgery 101

docinthemachine writes with word of some "research just presented at the 65th ASRM on 4K surgery. Using bleeding-edge Hollywood 4K cameras coupled to laparoscopes, surgery was performed in 4K, or 4X the resolution of HD. Since laparoscopy is performed while viewing on a video monitor, this is a huge advancement of resolution and clarity for the surgeon. It only took a million dollars of projectors to show it to the audience."
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Surgeon Performs World's First 4X HD Surgery

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  • by SigILL ( 6475 ) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @04:33PM (#29866947) Homepage

    What an unfortunate choice of words.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The reviews were stinky. Entirely too long and the plot seemingly went in circles.

  • Must have been more real than seeing it for yourself...
    • Must have been more real than seeing it for yourself...

      Indeed. From the article: "Amazingly, the surgeons in the conference were able to visualize the surgery they were watching better than if they had been in the operating room live."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by von_rick ( 944421 )
        Not to mention the fact that you can fast forward through the commercials and have an instant replay of everything one might find interesting during such a procedure.
      • Pretty soon they'll be able to see individual cells, similar to a microscope, and remove a cell at a time rather than tear the tissue with a primitive scalpel.

        BTW the summary is wrong. It's *2* times the resolution... just the same as a DVD (704 across) is about twice the resolution of VHS (350 across).

        • I seriously doubt that. Everything from the lack of back-lighting to the inability to perform staining to the much more basic fact that some cells are so small that just light can't resolve them. Still, you could get to the point of being able to see cells, even if you couldn't get to the point of removing a cell at a time.

  • price (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "It only took a million dollars of projectors to show it to the audience."


    • Well, they probably just added it to the patient's hospital bill, so it was not a big deal.

    • Re:price (Score:4, Funny)

      by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @04:46PM (#29867009) Homepage Journal

      and $5 million in damages to the MPAA for illegally pirating an episode of ER

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But it was the most expensive machine in the whole hospital, think of the administrators!

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ah. I see you have the machine that goes PING.

    • Only indeed. You can buy a Sony 4k Projector for less than $50k. Depending on the size of the audience they could have used the new sony 4k projector with 20k lumens for I think around $300k. Someone got overcharged me thinks.

      • No -- we used the sony projector (SRX-220) but due to audience size we needed 3 of them, them add 3D and stack them in double. Add couple of hundred K for real D 3D lenses and for 4K servers. Sony was the partner who set up equipment for us thank goodness.
  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @04:37PM (#29866969) Journal

    I knew the

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /

    that is tattooed on my ass would come handy.

  • new? (Score:2, Informative)

    by hcdejong ( 561314 )

    4x HD may be new for video imaging, but other medical imaging techniques have used higher resolutions forever. >HD monitors are quite common in medical applications, too.

    • 4x HD may be new for video imaging, but other medical imaging techniques have used higher resolutions forever.

      So? 1080p is only 2 MP. Even consumer-level digicams have offered more than than for forever. 30-60 fps is quite a different thing than still imagery.

      >HD monitors are quite common in medical applications, too.

      The video in this article is greater than 8 MP. Are those common? This vendor [] doesn't seem to have any at all.

  • 4X Surgery (Score:4, Funny)

    by IorDMUX ( 870522 ) <mark,zimmerman3&gmail,com> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @04:49PM (#29867033) Homepage
    Presenting Sid Meyers's and Issac Asmiov's Fantastic Voyage: The Invisible War
    • eXplore dozens of interconnected body systems
    • eXpand from cells to organs to systems... to other organisms!
    • eXploit body resources and endocrine systems--manipulate amino acids to make new and powerful proteins
    • eXterminate the competing infection and bring the body under your command!

    Oh... not that kind of 4X? In that case, I'll pass.

    • Does that game exist already? Because I want it.

      • by Acer500 ( 846698 )

        Does that game exist already? Because I want it.

        True, that. Brilliant !!! (btw, are there more "surgery sim" or "medicine sim" games? I remember one of those back in the olden days... )

    • If you're feeling particularly radical, try the new Sins of a Solar Surgeon.
  • This technology has the potential to allow doctors to perform hard operations (writer's cramp, wrenched ankle) with the ease of the anklebone's connected to the knee bone procedure.
  • The linked article could only have been written by a surgeon with incoherent longings for stardom and filthy lucre.

    This technology offers no increased assistance for surgeons. It really doesn't matter when you're that close in a laparoscopy. It's not like the structures you need to see are that small for most laparoscopic procedures. I would have been more impressed if they'd hooked this up for use in neurosurgery, eye surgery, vascular surgery, something where real resolution and delicacy is required.
    • Yep. Nothing to see here.

      He sure makes some bold statements of how better detail is going to give better outcomes, but of course hasn't a shred of evidence to back him up. Even for a slashvertisement, this one's pretty bad. Laproscopic surgery is all about getting a good visual field, ie, moving everything else out of the way. Not visual details.
      • What is more, in my experience at least half the time when you're doing lap surgery the camera is all fogged from being squidged around in body fluids, and you just ignore it because it's a PITA to keep pulling it out to wipe off the gunge.

        Now what would be a real advantage is if the scope was sterioscopic, seeing where things are in 3D is often the trickiest bit.

        • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

          What is more, in my experience at least half the time when you're doing lap surgery the camera is all fogged from being squidged around in body fluids, and you just ignore it because it's a PITA to keep pulling it out to wipe off the gunge.

          Does that also mean that you can miss lasering off the diseased tissue. Reason I ask is my girlfriend had to have 2 laparoscopy surgeries about a year apart - poor thing - she was in a lot of pain. Is it something that ever goes away?

          • If she was operated on for endometriosis, and it didn't immediately get better, here's a hint: you'd better love her, because she'll always be crazy and the pain will never stop.
            • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

              If she was operated on for endometriosis, and it didn't immediately get better

              well it seems much better the second time around.

              because she'll always be crazy and the pain will never stop.

              Well I do and she is absolutely awesome. I'm wondering, are these personal experiences you are talking of?

              • Professional. I'm an anesthesiologist; my training included several months of chronic pain management. Chronic pelvic pain is a mysterious and evil thing. Not everyone who has it necessarily starts out crazy, but if they don't get better, they end up there.
                • by MrKaos ( 858439 )


                  I hope you don't mind me asking you these questions but it seems hard to get a straight answer and I've only really learned of this 18 or so months ago. Some people have been telling me that endometriosis can sometimes stop after childbirth, do you know if this has any substance? Is it ever life threatening?

                  • Hes calling it a Professional opinion but hes going off of goddamn anecdotal data and talking about a case hes never heard of. I would quickly stop listening to him.

                  • I don't know; ask an OB. I've dealt with the chronic pelvic pain aspect of things. The ones who got better after a round or two of treatment didn't ever make it to the pain clinic... but in the gyn operative suite we definitely saw some people coming back for their fourth or fifth endometriosis ablation. By that point they were definitely becoming squirrely - this may be selection bias as much as anything else, but the OB/GYNs generally backed it up...
        • Besides, your resolution is always limited by the number of fibers in the scope - especially if a flexible is involved. Pedi bronchoscopes, for example. WTF is the point of HD if the number of pixels is in the hundreds?
  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @05:30PM (#29867237) Homepage Journal

    I just checked their screenshots on my 1280x1024 17" LCD and I'm really amazed at the picture quality that 4x HD can provide!

    • I'm amazed too!

      4096 x 2048

      That's over four times the resolution of 480p!

      Unless they meant four times the megapixels.

    • If you zoom in 400% you can tell the image has high resolution even on a low resolution screen. Especially if you compare with a low-res image.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With Hollywood, 4K refers to the horizontal resolution. With HDTVs, 1080p means the vertical resolution of 1920x1080. Therefore, it is approximately twice the resolution in the X dimension.

    • Absolutely. Resolution _always_ is one dimension. So at most it's a bit more than twice the resolution. It's about 4 times the number of pixels.

  • by purduephotog ( 218304 ) <> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @06:13PM (#29867453) Homepage Journal

    Well, actually, it's around 3.5 HD, but it's the thought that counts.

    This baby is awesome. I get to look at tons of displays for work and this one still takes the cake- it's made by Barco, is incredibly bright, has a built in calibration puck, comes with some decent software (ie, easily 'configured' for our purposes), and all around blows the socks off of everything on the market.

    Don't mind the $16K price tag.

    The diffuser used is so clean you could eat off it- none of that nasty subsurface artifacting that looks like dust on your screen (speckle). Just pure, rich, saturated colors that are accurately represented with no TFT structure to worry about.

    Now, IBM had the T221 ( which had a native resolution of 3840x2200- at 200ppi- so that your eyes could never make out the substructure of the pixels. Best of all the monitor had hardware interpolation- it could be used at 1/2x to basically present the user a clean screen with nothing to distract your eyes from. IBM did this back in 2000!

    • Is this similar to that ultra-hd I had heard about on /. years back? I seem to recall them setting up a test monitor in Japan somewhere and playing a video of the ocean and supposedly it looked so realistic people thought water was going to splash on them.

      I remember being not just impressed with the specs but also the producer of the make something with camera angles, lighting, sound, etc. that fit that well into the location must have been tricky and likely had more of an impact than the resolu

  • This isn't as big a breakthrough as I first thought.

    I thought it said "sturgeon".
  • By their own admission the Red camera is more like 2.8K - They use a 4K Beyer pattern sensor which produces much less resolution than the total number of horizontal elements. Images are at best comparable to those produced by standard video cameras using 2/3 inch prism optics. This has been scientifically proven by Kodak in extensive testing using standard image evaluation methodologies. The Sony projectors that were used while capable of 4K images only use a portion of the display area to produce HiDef (19
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Radagast ( 2416 )

      The Red One at 4k is about 3.2k resolution optically, if you test it with a resolution chart.

      I'm not sure where you get the idea that that's similar to the resolution you get with video cameras with 2/3" optics and a prism. Video cameras are 1920x1080 at the most (many formats are less horizontally), and prism alignment is never perfect, but even if it were, you'd never get more than 1920 lines horizontally, which is far less than the Red One's 3.2k, or even the 2.8k you claim. Besides, they're claiming "4X

  • bad title... (Score:4, Informative)

    by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @08:04PM (#29867939)

    4K is roughly 4,000 pixels across, not 4X "HD", which is probably assuming HD to be defined as 1920X1080. 4x HD, if you multiply each dimension, would be 7680x4320, a lot higher. I did see a demo of an 8k system earlier this year at NAB, quite nice on a large screen. Downsampled to 4k on a smaller screen and it was jawdropping. now if overall you mean four times the data, then yes, because it's roughly x2 in each dimension in two dimensions.

    We've always used the horizontal pixel resolution to define filmout resolutions for cinema. (2k, 4k, etc.) Consumer product manufacturers use the retarded "megapixels" number so it sounds larger and more impressive. (multiply width x height for total pixel count).

    I'm impressed that the camera optics they rigged into the laproscopy procedure had enough fidelity to make a 4k image worthwhile from such a small imaging source.

    The RED system is the current darling of high end 'indie' filmmakers, TV shows and commercial producers everywhere where 4k is desirable, while the Canon 5D Mk. II is being used extensively for 2k owing to its full frame, exceptionally sharp sensor combined with Canon's unbeatable lenses, despite the fact that it is primarily a still camera. Both were all over the place at NAB this year, and I have the 5D Mk. II myself. The tools are getting cheaper and better every year and a lot of the old names in broadcasting are fading away...


    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      Digital Cinema 4K is defined as 4096×2160 progressive (compare with ATSC HDTV standards 1920x1080 interlaced or 1280x720 progressive).

      The Sony SRX-T110 [] 4K projector costs around $114k, not a million!

      • actually it is defined as 4096 X 1716 - which is the widescreen (scope) version 2.39:1 aspect ratio - the 4096 X 2160 is the container size and the image cannot exceed that size - practically the 4096 X 1716 picture is the widest that is transmitted -
        • by TheSync ( 5291 )

          SMPTE 428M says that the Maximum resolution for DCDM operational level 1 is 4096x2160. That is the normative text.

          It "informatively" says that 4096x1716 is the 2.39:1 AR for level 1. Similarly, 3996x2160 is the 1.85:1 AR for level 1.

          But if you can't display the entire 4096x2160 DCDM (which would be a "funky" AR, I agree), I don't think you are fully SMPTE 428M DCDM operational level 1 compliant :)

    • by ERJ ( 600451 )
      I'm sure others will note this as well, but if you multiply the width and height by 2x you receive a total of 4x resolution. (i.e. you could fit 4 1920x1080 screens into one 4k x 2k screen). Another way to say it is that by multiplying the height and width by 2 you have 4x the number of pixels.
      • by njen ( 859685 )
        That may be the case, but everyone, and I mean *everyone* in the film, digital effects and imaging industries define 4k as being double HD resolution (2x). Where as 4x HD would be interpreted as 8k images. Only the horizontal width is calculated in regard to these terms, not the total area.

        Also, the term HD in these industries almost always refers to 1920 x 1080 progressive, not 1280 x 720.

        Note, I've worked in the CG film and effects industry for over 13 years.
        • by paimin ( 656338 )
          Well, it is 2x the width of HD, but it is absolutely 4x the resolution, or 4x the total area, of HD. It's not a matter of opinion. It's bloody 3rd grade math.
          • by njen ( 859685 )
            You're right, it's not a matter of opinion, which is why everyone in the industry defines 4k as 2x HD.

            No one uses the total area when speaking in these terms, and that's not an opinion.
            • by paimin ( 656338 )
              What is the "resolution" of 1080 HD? Would you say it's "1920", or would you say it's "1920x1080"?
              • by njen ( 859685 )
                HD is 1920 x 1080, or commonly known as 2k. It's almost the same size as what most film is produced in as well (2048 x 1556). Which is why HD is so good to work with, because it's almost the same width as standard film. Like I said, don't take my word for it, it's what the industry refers to.

                1080p refers to the number of horizontal lines, hence 1920 x 1080 = HD (widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio).

                So when the title says 4x HD, most people would instantly think "wow, 8k resolution!", but 4k is not as special,
                • by paimin ( 656338 )
                  Someone should tell that they're not in "the industry" then, because they clearly refer to 4k as four times the resolution of 2k:


                  Who do you work for, so we can all make sure NOT to hire you?
                  • by njen ( 859685 )
                    That website basically says the same thing. 4k x 2k is commonly referred to as 4k.

                    Half of 4k, is 2k, or 1920 x 1080, or also known as HD, or also known as 1080i. I don't know why you are arguing. This is simple industry information. I don't make the rules, I just abide by terms that have been in place for a long time.

                    If you still can't understand this simple bit of information, then I wish you well, and hope that you come around soon. All the best, it's the end for my part of this discussion as I have t
                    • by paimin ( 656338 )
                      Are you fucking dense? From the page:

                      "4K x 2K is shorthand for 4,000 lines wide by 2,000 lines high, or roughly four times the resolution of a 1080p display."

                      Exactly how does that statement express, in any way, that 4k video is "two" times 1080 HD resolution? It actually says "four times" right there on the page.

                      Sorry, you're just plain old full of shit.
    • by keytoe ( 91531 )

      4K is roughly 4,000 pixels across, not 4X "HD", which is probably assuming HD to be defined as 1920X1080. 4x HD, if you multiply each dimension, would be 7680x4320, a lot higher.

      Doubling the number of pixels in each dimension (eg, to 3840 x 2160) gives you four times the total pixels in the encompassed area.

    • I am glad someone else said this. Many people (I was like this myself at one time) think that HDTV is 1k, as its generally defined as 1080i. However, its closer to 2k, 2k is defined as the width of the picture, not the height. 2k refrence resolution is 2048×1536 and 4k refence resolution is 4096×3072 (I guess this is a 4x3 resolution). The lower resolutions others have stated (4096x2160) are widescreen digital cinema, so you are NOT experiencing the full 4k standard. What would be smart would be

    • "exceptionally sharp sensor combined with Canon's unbeatable lenses"

      I would not say Canon's lenses are 'unbeatable'. Most cinematography lenses are far better. Take Arri master primes, set you back £15k for each lens, a box of them can run well over £100k.

      My Contax Carl Zeiss lenses beat Canon or Nikkor lenses.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We can now outsource surgery to India as well? "Oh, hold on, my internet connection got laggy. Oh, sorry, well, ya can't sue for malpractice from another country, can ya! "

  • The Sony SRXR220 has a lot of technology to prevent movie copying. The actual projector is only a small part of this.
    It has:
    -Enclosure Security System
    -approved receipt of secured DCP content.
    -Key security system
    -remote monitoring allows content to remain secure
    -Ethernet control to separate PC through secure TLS session
    -Sony exclusive internal watermark system
    -Lamp can be changed without having to enter secured area
    -electronic operator key entry system
    -multilevel security with operator roles
    -security managem

    • The drives I've seen at theaters have big DHL stickers on them. Dolby would love to have a stranglehold on the delivery, but they do not appear to.

      • The procedure I described, was the one followed in a Cupertino theater last year. They told me this was the procedure in the Bay Area. I am curious if this has changed.

  • We use 4xHD projectors at work... we have four of them all projecting on a 3-walled 'room' with a roof. We use it to project CAD images as 3-D images and with some funky Dame Edna glasses, you see a 3D image in front of you and when you move your head, the view changes along with it. So imagine having a car, you can open the door, sit inside it etc ... really really cool!

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?