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Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Feb;21(1):3-10. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32835bf58c.

Three-dimensional endoscopy in sinus surgery.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.



Surgical endoscopy revolutionized the management of disease in nearly every surgical field, including rhinology. Endoscopy offered several advantages for the surgical management of rhinologic disease. However, it had a distinct disadvantage compared to direct vision, namely loss of binocular vision. Two-dimensional (2D) endoscopy limited depth perception, widely regarded as an important parameter for accurate and efficient movements during surgery. Three-dimensional (3D) endoscopic visualization has been actively pursued for decades by endoscopic surgeons in multiple surgical specialties. However, its clinical role has been limited due to technical limitations as well as successful adaptation by endoscopic surgeons to monocular cues offered by 2D technology.


Until recently, stereoscopic technology included variations of dual channel video, dual chip-on-the-tip, and shutter mechanism, as well as various 3D displays. Over the past decade a novel 3D endoscopic technology was introduced. This technology used a lenticular array of lenses in front of a single video chip at the distal end of an endoscope to generate a stereoscopic view of the surgical field. Also known as the 'insect eye' technology since it mimics the compound eye of arthropods, this endoscope has reinvigorated the field of 3D endoscopic surgery.


Recent developments in 3D endoscopy hold much promise for all surgical subspecialties, particularly endoscopic sinus and skull-base surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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