World's first 3D keyhole surgery performed at University of Surrey

28 Jan 2011

Doctors performed the world's first remote 3D keyhole surgery during a symposium at the University of Surrey last December.

Keyhole surgery reduces the length of hospital stays and post-operative complications. This also means that patients experience less scarring and pain. 3D keyhole surgery is a state-of-the-art extension of standard keyhole surgery that uses 3D cameras like those used to make the film 'Avatar'. It puts the surgeon right inside the patient's body and significantly improves accuracy.

This surgical breakthrough formed part of a large-scale study into operator fatigue using 3D surgical equipment that arises from a collaboration between surgeons at the Royal Surrey County Hospital and academics at the University of Surrey.

As well as surgical evaluation, cutting-edge research, led by Dr David Windridge of the University's Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing, sought to measure the changes in a surgeon's focus of attention during prolonged operations by incorporating eye-tracking and computer-vision technology into the 3D surgical environment.

This research consequently offers a unique opportunity both to improve surgical safety and to further understanding of how the human brain functions while performing tasks involving complex hand-eye coordination.

Dr Windridge, commented: "By measuring attention while performing operations using state-of-the-art 3D surgical equipment, this collaboration between surgeons and academics at the University of Surrey gives us a unique opportunity both to improve surgical safety and also address far-reaching questions how the human mind focuses attention while performing complex tasks."

Video footage of this project can be accessed at:


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