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, 57 (5), 995-1013

Augmented Visualization With Depth Perception Cues to Improve the Surgeon's Performance in Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Augmented Visualization With Depth Perception Cues to Improve the Surgeon's Performance in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Lucio Tommaso De Paolis et al. Med Biol Eng Comput.

Abstract

Minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopy and radiofrequency ablation of tumors, bring important advantages in surgery: by minimizing incisions on the patient's body, they can reduce the hospitalization period and the risk of postoperative complications. Unfortunately, they come with drawbacks for surgeons, who have a restricted vision of the operation area through an indirect access and 2D images provided by a camera inserted in the body. Augmented reality provides an "X-ray vision" of the patient anatomy thanks to the visualization of the internal organs of the patient. In this way, surgeons are free from the task of mentally associating the content from CT images to the operative scene. We present a navigation system that supports surgeons in preoperative and intraoperative phases and an augmented reality system that superimposes virtual organs on the patient's body together with depth and distance information. We implemented a combination of visual and audio cues allowing the surgeon to improve the intervention precision and avoid the risk of damaging anatomical structures. The test scenarios proved the good efficacy and accuracy of the system. Moreover, tests in the operating room suggested some modifications to the tracking system to make it more robust with respect to occlusions. Graphical Abstract Augmented visualization in minimally invasive surgery.

Keywords: Augmented reality; Depth perception; Distance information; Image-guided surgery; Minimally invasive surgery.

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