Ultra High Resolution Video Used in Surgery

Ultra High Resolution Video Used in Surgery
Dr. Steven Palter of New York recently reported the first laparoscopic surgery performed using a high-resolution video camera. Using equipment worth over a million dollars, he and his team were able to obtain one of the clearest views inside the human body ever.
 The Red One 4K camera, used in the surgery. (Source: Red Digital Cinema Camera Company)
The Red One 4K camera, used in the surgery. (Source: Red Digital Cinema Camera Company)

Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS) or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5-1.5cm). Such surgeries include operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities; the advantages offered to the patient are reduced pain due to smaller incisions and hemorrhaging, and shorter recovery times.

Now, the field of laparoscopic surgeries can be improved greatly thanks to high-end imaging devices. This first step, taken by Dr. Palter, shows that advanced imaging technologies can benefit both patients and clinicians. This feat – creating imagery approximately four times better than the resolution of standard high definition video – was achieved using the Red One 4K camera made by Red Digital Cinema Camera Company. The results were later displayed in 3D to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Again, high-tech equipment was used; this time it was a Sony SRXR-220 projector.

According to Palter, his goal was to check whether the increase in detail and resolution will improve surgeons’ work. For this reason he chose to use the next generation of Hollywood 4k cameras. In this pilot project, the team successfully connected this innovative camera to a surgical scope, thus obtaining the highest-ever resolution for surgical images. He claims that better images provide clearer visual information, making surgeries better and safer.

“Dr. Palter’s research and vision of surgery’s technological future opened the eyes and minds of the audience to fantastic treatments beyond what can be done today,” said R. Dale McClure, MD President of ASRM. This ultra high resolution approaches that of the human eye but it is combined with 10 fold magnification through the telescopes which operate just inches away from the reason for surgery.

While not all surgeons could afford themselves this expensive equipment, it is worth mentioning that other fields of research have gradually increased their level of technology as well; therefore, one can assume that eventually more and more clinics will be able to provide better treatments using Red’s camera or similar devices.

TFOT has also covered the Microscalpel, a new technology that can be used to target one cancer cell at a time, and the development of a new brain surgery procedure which uses high intensity ultrasound beams to precisely heat and destroy damaged brain tissue. Other related TFOT stories include a piece on the OBP-401 virus, engineered to make cancer cells permanently glow, and the development of a 6 million frames-per-second camera, designed to capture high-speed events such as neural activity and elements of blood analysis.

For more information about the use of ultra high resolution video in laparoscopic surgery, see Dr. Steven Palter’s website.

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About the author

Ehud Rattner

Ehud is a student for Communication & Journalism as well as Business Administration in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has knowledge in computers' software and hardware and a keen interest in consumer electronics and innovative gadgets.

View all articles by Ehud Rattner