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AR raises patient safety in robotic thyroid surgery
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2018.12.05 15:01
  • Updated 2018.12.05 15:01
  • comments 0

Augmented reality, an interactive experience in a real world with additional information created by virtual images onto real images, is drawing attention in the medical field as it helps raise surgical safety.

Professor Chai Young-jun’s research team at Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center and Professor Kim Hee-chan’s team at the Medical Electronics Laboratory of the Seoul National University published their joint study on Tuesday, saying using AR in robotic thyroid surgery enhanced surgical safety.

The procedure for creating augmented reality images out of CT scans of the patient before the surgery. (Credit: Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center)

The researchers created AR images from CT scans of a thyroid cancer patient before an operation. They overlaid the AR images to the three-dimensional (3-D) printed model and then overlaid them to the real-time images of robotic thyroidectomy. Then, the researchers checked if the two images matched in over 98 percent accuracy.

AR images helped surgeons to identify the esophagus, trachea, and carotid arteries that could be dangerous when injured during surgery.

“In robotic thyroid surgery, important organs might be damaged sometimes. But if we adopt AR, surgeons who are relatively inexperienced can perform an operation safely,” Chai said.

The study has been published in the latest issue of Annals of Surgical Treatment and Research, the official journal of the Korean Surgical Society.

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