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Minerva Chirurgica 2010 August;65(4):451-62

language: English

Intraoperative augmented reality for laparoscopic colorectal surgery by intraoperative near-infrared fluorescence imaging and optical coherence tomography

Cahill R. A., Mortensen N. J.

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, Oxford, UK


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Advances in imaging quality and capability have been the major driver of the laparoscopic revolution that has dramatically impacted upon operative strategies and surgical patient care in recent years. Increasingly now the technological capacity is becoming available to supraselect or extend the useful clinical range of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond visible or white light. This has markedly broadened the intraprocedural optical information available at intraluminal endoscopy and there is likely to be considerable similar benefit for laparoscopy. Rather than narrow band or ultraviolet imaging however, it is the near infrared (NIR) spectrum that seems of most potential to exploit during intra-abdominal endoscopy in particular as this energy range is capable of penetrating relatively deeply into tissues such as the mesentery and bowel wall without inducing thermal damage due to heat dissipation or indeed the intracellular effects associated with higher energy, shorter wavelength energies. By incorporating the NIR spectrum alongside more conventional laparoscopic imaging, a greater appreciation of tissue architecture, character and quality is possible in particular with respect to lymphatic and vascular channel anatomy and flow dynamics and also real-time optical histology (by NIR optical coherence tomography). Such a facility may significantly aid critical intraoperative decision making during colorectal operations by informing the surgeon regarding the most biologically relevant lymphatic basin and lymph nodes for any target area of interest (especially important if considering tailored operative extent for colorectal neoplasia), the sufficiency and quality of arterial supply (and hence inform re the perfusion of stapled intestinal ends prior to reanastomosis) and perhaps even in situ pathological assessment. This article provides a state of art overview of the fascinating potential of this emergent technological capability.

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