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Archive July 2015 XVI, No. 7

Advances in Video Imaging

The days of laparoscopic surgeons feeling as though they're operating through a straw are long gone.

Pamela Ertel, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA


high-resolution view 4K ULTRA HD A crisp, clear, high-resolution view is essential for laparoscopic surgery, says gynecologic surgeon Jeffrey B. Frank, MD, of the Reading Hospital SurgiCenter at Spring Ridge in Wyomissing, Pa

For more than 20 years, imaging technology remained virtually unchanged. Then along came high definition, which quickly became the new standard in OR video. We all longed for the image quality, amazing clarity and depth of field of HD in our ORs. But now there's ultra high-def, or 4K Ultra HD as it is known. Ultra high-def has 4 times the resolution and a significantly wider color range than 1080p. It's difficult to describe the resolution and clarity of 4K. Some have likened it to wearing glasses for the first time: All of a sudden, you can see much more. Others say it feels like you're taking a 3D-like tour of the knee, shoulder or uterus instead of looking at it on a 2D screen.

"I would liken it to going to a movie when I was a kid 100 years ago compared to going to an IMAX today. It's night-and-day different," says gynecologic surgeon Jeffrey B. Frank, MD, one of the original owners of our surgery center. Interesting analogy, Dr. Frank, for the IMAX movie experience is often described like this: You're no longer at the window peeking out; you're outside among the stars.

"It clearly identifies and sharply delineates what we're looking at," adds Dr. Frank. "The color is the real color of the organ and the adjacent organs. It's live. It's as if I was looking directly at the image in situ as opposed to on a television screen."

Besides the clear view, 4K's lifelike quality will also help our surgeons with such depth-perception activities as suturing or separating tissue. For arthroscopy, endoscopy and open surgery video imaging, 4K has transformed our 8 ORs from rooms to theatres. I can already tell you that the sharper, clearer images promote better surgical outcomes, case efficiency, and patient and surgeon satisfaction.

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