INTRODUCTION: Traditionally, laparoscopy has been based on 2-D imaging, which represents a considerable challenge. As a result, 3-D visualization technology has been proposed as a way to better facilitate laparoscopy. We compared the latest 3-D systems with high-end 2-D monitors to validate the usefulness of new systems for endoscopic diagnoses and treatment in Thailand.
METHODS: We compared the abilities of our high-definition 3-D endoscopy system with real-time compression communication system with a conventional high-definition (2-D) endoscopy system by asking health-care staff to complete tasks. Participants answered questionnaires and whether procedures were easier using our system or the 2-D endoscopy system.
RESULTS: Participants were significantly faster at suture insertion with our system (34.44 ± 15.91 s) than with the 2-D system (52.56 ± 37.51 s) (P < 0.01). Most surgeons thought that the 3-D system was good in terms of contrast, brightness, perception of the anteroposterior position of the needle, needle grasping, inserting the needle as planned, and needle adjustment during laparoscopic surgery. Several surgeons highlighted the usefulness of exposing and clipping the bile duct and gallbladder artery, as well as dissection from the liver bed during laparoscopic surgery. In an image-transfer experiment with RePure-L®, participants at Rajavithi Hospital could obtain reconstructed 3-D images that were non-inferior to conventional images from Chulalongkorn University Hospital (10 km away).
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that our newly developed system could be of considerable benefit to the health-care system in Thailand. Transmission of moving endoscopic images from a center of excellence to a rural hospital could help in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.
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