Video Technologies for Recording Open Surgery: A Systematic Review

Surg Innov. 2019 Oct;26(5):599-612. doi: 10.1177/1553350619853099. Epub 2019 Jun 5.


Video recording of surgical procedures is an important tool for surgical education, performance enhancement, and error analysis. Technology for video recording open surgery, however, is limited. The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the available literature regarding the various technologies used for intraoperative video recording of open surgery. A systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines using the MEDLINE, Cochrane Central, and EMBASE databases. Two authors independently screened the titles and abstracts of the retrieved articles, and those that satisfied the defined inclusion criteria were selected for a full-text review. A total of 2275 publications were initially identified, and 110 were included in the final review. The included articles were categorized based on type of article, surgical subspecialty, type and positioning of camera, and limitations identified with their use. The most common article type was primary-technical (29%), and the dominant specialties were general surgery (22%) and plastic surgery (18%). The most commonly cited camera used was the GoPro (30%) positioned in a head-mount configuration (60%). Commonly cited limitations included poor video quality, inadequate battery life, light overexposure, obstruction by surgical team members, and excessive motion. Open surgery remains the mainstay of many surgical specialties today, and technological innovation is absolutely critical to fulfill the unmet need for better video capture of open surgery. The findings of this article will be valuable for guiding future development of novel technology for this purpose.

Keywords: camera technology; innovation; open surgery; surgical video.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*
  • Video Recording / instrumentation*