Laparoscopy in HD

Maidstone Hospital is the latest centre to benefit from the collaboration between Video South and Olympus in providing full quality HD links from the operating theatre.

At the opening of IMACS, Maidstone. Multi images from theatre at HD quality

Side-by-side laparoscopy

The Olympus Endo Alpha integrated operating theatre is equipped with all HD 1080 laparoscopic imaging as well as operating lights and cameras by Trumpf, who have pioneered LED illumination. These are linked to the Video South system, which transmits over fibre optic connection to the new wing of the education centre. The transmission is of two full HD images and two standard definition sources.

In the education centre, the audience moderator can choose by touch panel to
display one or all of these images. The projection in each of two lecture rooms is a 16:9 widescreen HD unit of 6,000 lumens brightness.

The result is stunning and the depth in the images surprising. Moreover, the moderator can decide that one image window on projection is from a local source. This means he can project PACS or patient records from a local pc at the same time as continuing to watch the procedure in theatre. This enhances teaching and discussion.

Audiences become more involved when histories, current treatment and recent radiology can be displayed live from the network at the same time as they watch and discuss the progress of a procedure with theatre.

The fibre link is over 400m but entirely lossless. The HD images seen by audiences are exactly the resolution and quality seen in theatre by the operating team. There is no compression or time delay in vision or sound, and all the sound is two way and open at all times. This facilitates natural, fluent discussion.

This is all part of the dream that surgeon Amir Nisar had for the new laparoscopic teaching centre at Maidstone. The new purpose-built centre is equipped for skills training, seminars, lectures and live links.

The specialist interactive auditorium for 60 people is also fully equipped for sophisticated videoconferencing so that procedures from theatre can be seen by the local and distant audiences simultaneously, or a remote site could offer content in to the Maidstone meeting. No doubt a place of expertise can use these facilities to participate in national and international meetings in the field of laparoscopy.