How 3D Visualization can Support ENT Surgery and Training

Prof. Offeciers also manages Skillslab, a training center to teach ENT trainees and surgeons. Skillslab is equipped with nine fully equipped stations, each with the Leica M320 F12 microscope, to mimic as closely as possible the working conditions in a real OR.

3D visualization is becoming popular for neurosurgery and ophthalmology. How did you come to try it for ENT also?

Offeciers: In 2014, I demonstrated laser stapedotomy, cochlear implant surgery and chronic ear surgery during an Ear Surgery Workshop in Calicut, India. I was very impressed by the quality of the 3D images that were transmitted from the OR to the audience of Indian otologists in the next door building. In the same year one of my colleagues was teaching ear surgery in Thailand with a 3D microscope and was also very impressed by this teaching tool.

As around that time we were just testing the surgical microscope Leica M525 F50 for one of our OR’s, we asked for the possibilities of 3D visualization on the OR monitor and 3D transmission to our meeting room in the outpatient department. Since we are an ENT training department and also regularly organize postgraduate ear surgery courses and temporal bone training courses, we felt this would be of great benefit for our ENT trainees and fellows, and would add great quality to our training and courses.

Also, we felt it would enhance safety during our daily surgical work. We receive many visitors to our department. Having them all present in the OR during surgery is not ideal to ensure an aseptic environment. With high quality 3D and audio transmission from the OR to our meeting room in the outpatient block, we can limit the number of persons present in the OR during surgery to the required minimum.

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