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December  1, 1999
Surgical Imaging-Support System Prototype
Olympus R&D will ease the surgeon's task by bringing a high-precision simulation and navigation technologies to the microsurgery operating room
Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce a prototype of its surgical imaging-support system. The project integrates a number of advanced technologies to create a groundbreaking surgical simulation/navigation system.
The Olympus research is part of the Information Promotion Agency's R&D effort to bring digitization to medical systems.
Taking the Surgeon's Point of View
The surgical imaging-support system will make an indispensable contribution to neurosurgery - an area that holds immense potential for minimally invasive techniques that can improve the patient's quality of life.
Microsurgery and endoscopic procedures have already spread rapidly in the field because they minimize the impact on the patient. But these advantages have been offset by extremely sophisticated and complicated techniques that are far more challenging for the surgeon. The solution lies in an effective imaging-support system to prepare medical professionals, refine their techniques and guide them during surgery.
Olympus has responded to these needs by developing a prototype that integrates advanced technologies for surgical simulation and navigation.
An Eye for Medical Progress
The Surgical imaging-support system has three independent functions for surgical planning, simulation and navigation.
Surgical Planning (Minimally Invasive Penetration Path)
A 3-D image of the patient lays the basis for planning an operation by displaying the minimally invasive penetration path.
First, stratified two-dimensional images of the patient - from an X-ray, CT or MRI system - are read from the server. Then a 3-D image of the patient is compiled and compared to data in a standard cerebral atlas showing a 3-D intraparenchymal image with key cerebral blood vessels marked and labeled for easy identification. These indicators are crucial to preventing damage that could lead to impairment or even death. Finally, a composite 3-D image of the patient is produced to display optimal access to the target area - the path that will minimize the impact.
Surgical Simulation (3-D Image Layering)
A surgeon can prepare for an operation by using the patient's 3-D image generated during the planning stage. Surgical procedures are simulated with a parallel-link master manipulator - an original Olympus innovation - on the graphical interface of a PC. Serving as an input device, the master manipulator not only has a handle shaped like a surgical instrument, but responds with force-feedback.
Surgeon training programs will also take advantage of these simulation capabilities since they are backed by digital recording, playback and editing for analysis and study.
Surgical Navigation
Creating an effective visual aid for actual surgery starts with input of the patient's 3-D image from the planning stage. Then it is layered with high-resolution endoscope and microscope images showing the affected portion. This synthesis is so accurate that the surgeon can pinpoint the exact location and angle of the target area. Position and motion sensing technologies, including advanced optical and video tracking systems, are the key to the exceptionally high resolution required for image layering.
The surgical imaging-support system has been developed for use with an ordinary PC. The monitor shows the layered image of target area as well as a global display - which can be controlled by voice commands - of sagittal, axial and coronal cross-sections. Inset windows on the monitor show the observation direction and angle of the microscope.
*Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. was changed to OLYMPUS CORPORATION as of October 1, 2003.
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