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Medicine Idle Science

UK Surgeons Are the First To Operate In 3D 64

MrSeb writes "A team at Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital, England, claim to be the first surgeons to perform keyhole surgery using 3D cameras and monitors — and embarrassingly clunky spectacles. Furthermore, if that wasn't high-tech enough, the lead surgeon also used a hand-held robotic claw. 3D vision during surgery makes perfect sense: After all, your anatomy is three-dimensional, and when you're making minute incisions with a foot-long instrument, through an entry hole that's just an inch long, depth perception is obviously a huge boon. According to spokeswoman from the hospital, the 3D approach provides much better accuracy, 'therefore reducing the risks of muscle and nerve damage.' The same spokesperson also said that the 3D projection would reduce surgeon fatigue, presumably because trying to make sense of a 2D image for hours on end is incredibly strenuous."
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UK Surgeons Are the First To Operate In 3D

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:57AM (#39569325)

    First in the UK, according to the BBC [bbc.co.uk].

  • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:32AM (#39569727) Homepage

    The Da Vinci robot is, as it names implies, a *robot*. It is remotely controlled.
    The surgeon isn't operating the patient directly, the surgeon is sitting comfortably at a console, manipulating joysticks and looking into a cinemascope-type of fixed goggle 3d display. Then in the next room, the robot is working (almost) alone (except maybe for a couple of assisting humans) remotely according to the piloting performed by the surgeon. Most of the time the patient isn't opened but the robot instruments are passed through small holes on the patient's skin.
    (It's currently in the next room, so if anything goes wrong, the surgeons can sterilize his hands and pick up the work from where the robot failed. But there has been tests performed with longer distance and a different surgeon staying in "stand by" mode)
    In this case:
    - the surgery is performed by a robot.
    - the surgeon is sitting next door, not above the patient.
    - only the surgeon gets 3D pics
    - the assitants get normal flat 2D pics on monitors in the operating room. (And during the few operation I've seen, the surgeon can use his better 3D perception and higher dexterity robot instruments to assist the assitants passing material, like stiching material).

    It's closed surgergy. You don't open the patient, but you manually put instruments through the skin. Also everybody (surgeon + whole crew) is in the operating room. To see what you're doing you put 1 single normal 2D camera into the body (usually using fiber optics to avoid putting the whole thing inside :-) )
    - The surgeon is operating with her/his own hands using long rigid instruments passed through the patient's skin.
    - Everybody (surgeon included) gets the same 2D picture on the screen inside the operating room.

    This case:
    2 variations from laparoscopy. They use stereoscopic pictures and robotic claws. So the "new" differences are:
    - The surgeon is still operating but her/his hands are holding hand-held robotic claws instead of simply "longer-than-classical" instruments.
    - The camera gives a 3D feed on the monitors for everyone, as long as they wear glasses.
    That's new in UK apparently (and I haven't heard about the method before)
    I don't know if you make 3 holes like classical laparoscopy (1 for the camera's fiber optics, 2 channels for passing instruments) or if you need 4 holes (2 for the camera)

    Another type of operation worth mentionning:
    Endoscopy. In this case absolutely everything is mounting on a long tentacle-shaped probe. The probe is completely articulated like a tentacle (unlike the long rigid instruments of laparoscopy, or the few joints of robotic instruments), although it doesn't move actively (it's not remotely controlled like robotic stuff, it can only bends to follow the shape of the hollow space you're following) although you *can* control the orientation of the tip (to pick up the correct turn in branching anatomy). It contains absolutely everything for the surgery packed into the tentacle: fiber optics for imaging and lights, a channel to rince and/or spray drugs, another channel to vacuum (aspiration), and a channel to pass ultra long ultra thin flexible instrument (like a small claw).
    I think most models lack the possibility to use a big electro cuterisation, but given the small claw you can't cut enough to cause massive bleedings which aren't resolved by simply spraying adrenaline.
    - Because of the small channel and small claw, it's mostly used for biopsies (taking a small chunk of something suspect to send it to the lab for analysis).
    - The claw is next to the image (at the tip of the tentacle, not a separate instrument separately operated). So you don't look while moving the instrument, instead you move the whole tentacle in position and chomp whatever is directly in front.
    - Because everything is contained into a single probe and the probe is articulated, this is mostly used to explore open orifices like the lungs (from the mouth) or the guts (from the mouth or the oppos

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