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Multiple Perspectives Improve Laparoscopy

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 10:28am

What makes laparoscopic surgery “minimally invasive” — instruments enter the patient through narrow tubes — also makes it visually constraining. As they work on different tasks, surgeons all see the same view. What if each surgeon could control a separate view best suited to the specific task? In a new paper, pediatric surgeon Dr. Francois Luks and his team of co-authors at Brown University and Hasbro Children’s Hospital report that in a small in vitro trial, surgeons with their own views performed faster and more accurately.

“When we perform regular surgery, there is more than one point of view,” said Luks, professor of surgery in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “If I’m operating with somebody on an open case, I can focus on one aspect of the wound while my assistant can focus on something else. I can cut a suture while he starts the next. We can never do that with laparoscopy, because it is only a single image.”

For Luks and his colleagues the idea of giving each surgeon control of his or her own point of view during laparoscopic surgery has emerged as a key step toward making laparoscopic surgery feel more like open surgery.

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