Intraoperative stereoscopic 3D video imaging: Pushing the boundaries of surgical visualisation and applications for neurosurgical education

Michael D. Heath, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


Objective. In the past decades, we have witnessed waves of interest in three-dimensional (3D) stereoscopic imaging. Previously, the complexity associated with 3D technology led to its absence in the operating room. But recently, the public's resurrection of interest in this imaging modality has revived its exploration in surgery. Technological advances have also paved the way for incorporation of 3D stereoscopic imaging in neurosurgical education. Methods. Herein, the authors discuss the advantages of intraoperative 3D recording and display for neurosurgical learning and contemplate its future directions based on their experience with 3D technology and a review of the literature. Results. Potential benefits of stereoscopic displays include an enhancement of subjective image quality, proper identification of the structure of interest from surrounding tissues and improved surface detection and depth judgment. Such benefits are critical during the intraoperative decision-making process and proper handling of the lesion (specifically, for surgery on aneurysms and tumours), and should therefore be available to the observers in the operating room and residents in training. Our trainees can relive the intraoperative experience of the primary surgeon by reviewing the recorded stereoscopic 3D videos. Conclusion. Proper 3D knowledge of surgical anatomy is important for operative success. 3D stereoscopic viewing of this anatomy may accelerate the learning curve of trainees and improve the standards of surgical teaching. More objective studies are relevant in further establishing the value of 3D technology in neurosurgical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • Education
  • Imaging
  • Medical
  • Neurosurgery
  • Three-dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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