Augmented Reality Facilitates Endoscopic Surgery

Apr 4, 2014
Jyunichi Oshita, Nikkei Digital Health
The new technology makes a forceps "transparent."
The new technology makes a forceps "transparent."
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

A research team of Waseda University developed a technology to visualize the blind spot made by a forceps during a endoscopic surgery.

The team is headed by Masakatsu Fujie, professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, and Yo Kobayashi, associate processor at the Waseda Research Institute for Science and Engineering. The new technology was developed in collaboration with the Center for Integration of Advanced Medicine, Life Science and Innovative Technology (CAMIT), Kyushu University, and the Department of Pediatrics, Kyushu University Hospital.

With this technology, another camera is inserted during an operation in addition to the endoscope camera to take a video of the area being treated from under the forceps. Then, the video is processed so that it looks like a video being taken by the endoscope camera above. And it is projected on the forceps. As a result, the forceps looks transparent, revealing the concealed area.

In a conventional endoscopic surgery, surgical instruments make it difficult to see the area being treated, increasing the difficulty of the surgery. When there is a blind spot, operations such as stitching become difficult, potentially damaging tissues in the blind spot and causing a complication due to the damage.

Because the new technology enables to use existing endoscopes and surgical instruments as they are, it can be commercialized at an early date, the research team said. Especially, it is expected to be used for pediatric surgeries, which deal with a narrow space.