Last Friday, Dr. Mathieu D’Hondt (AZ Groeninge – Kortrijk) performed Belgium’s first liver laparoscopy in 4K – using an endoscopy camera and screens to visualize the liver with a resolution 4 times that of HD.
It's not the first time this surgeon has used a novel technique to ensure the best possible outcome for his patients. He’s one of the few Belgian surgeons performing laparoscopic liver resections with the patient placed in a semi-prone position – a technique he picked up from a Japanese team in 2011.
"Placing the patient in a semi-prone position (instead of in supine position, as is usually the case) means the patient is placed on his or her left side while the left side of the operating table is tilted downward by up to 20-30°. Gravity then causes the liver to fall down, which makes it easier to reach and resect tumors located in the antero-superior and posterior segments of the liver. We’ve now done over 30 procedures in semi-prone without conversion – that is, without the need to open the body,” says Dr. D’Hondt.
The results of this technique will soon be published – and they’ll also be presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the “Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association” in Miami, Florida.
4K: images that practically jump off the screen (VIDEO)
Another innovation that is expected to transform surgical procedures for good is the use of 4K – or ultra-high definition (UHD) – resolution. The result of close collaboration between the hospital and Barco, last Friday’s procedure was part of a successful pilot project to stream and record minimally invasive surgery entirely in 4K.
When I asked him about the benefits of 4K visualization in the OR, Dr. D’Hondt was beyond excitement. “The resolution and level of detail enabled by 4K technology is truly amazing! I thought our original HD screens offered excellent image quality, but with the 4K display, you get to see details you wouldn’t have seen before. Depth perception is better too – and contrast and differences in color are clearer. It’s as good as an open surgery,” Dr. D’Hondt concludes.
Watch the footage of the 4K procedure here.