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Archive June 2013 XIV, No. 6

What's New in Minimally Invasive Surgery

A tour of the innovative products on display at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons conference.

Sharona Ross, MD


hand-eye coordination HAND-EYE COORDINATION Dr. Ross test-drove the latest in laparoscopic technology.

The advantages of minimally invasive surgery depend on advances in access, visualization and instrumentation. The exhibit hall at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons' annual conference, held in Baltimore this spring, offered practitioners the opportunity to check out the latest innovations in one place. To put it simply, I was a kid in a candy store. Here's some of the technology that caught my eye.

Articulating HD 3D Laparoscopic Surgical Video System from Olympus
Olympus is marketing its new laparoscope as an economical alternative to surgical robotics. Just because a facility can't budget the $1.5 million to $2.2 million (plus use and maintenance expenses) for a robot doesn't mean it has to forgo the benefits that depth perception brings to lap surgery. The 10mm scope incorporates twin visual channels to produce binocular vision, twin light sources to fully illuminate the site, and a "chip on the tip" to deliver a high-quality image. Polarized glasses let you see the 3D effect on a high-definition display. It also has a bendable tip. Dials at your fingertips enable angulation of up to 100 degrees in 4 directions, so you can look behind things while the scope remains stationary.

articulating tip SEE AROUND CORNERS The articulating tip of Olympus's 3D HD scope lets users see beyond a stationary scope's view.

It's easy to overlook, but the single cable that carries both the power and light cords from the back of the hand controls, in line with the device (instead of the power cord coming out the back and the light cord perpendicular or at an angle), is inspired design. When you're performing single-incision lap surgery, an instrument with a cord sticking out the side can interfere with other instruments. A cord out the back end makes for a flatter instrument and a less crowded port. The articulating, 3D, HD scope hadn't been priced at the time of the conference, but Olympus reps estimated the costs of the entire video platform at $150,000, which included the 2 video towers necessary for 3D images and the camera control unit to combine their signals.

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