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Stereo display of 3D ultrasound images for surgical robot guidance.

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Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.


The recent advent of real-time 3-D ultrasound (3DUS) imaging enables a variety of surgical procedures to be performed within the beating heart. Implementation of these procedures is hampered by the difficulty of manipulating tissue guided by the distorted, low resolution 3DUS images and the dexterity constraints imposed by the confined intracardiac space. This paper investigates the use of surgical robotics in conjunction with 3DUS to overcome these limitations. In addition, it describes the development of a graphics processor based volume Tenderer for real-time stereo visualization of the ultrasound data. Stereo displayed 3DUS was compared to ID-displayed 3DUS and endoscopic guidance with a user study. Five subjects performed in vitro surgical tasks using a surgical robot. Results indicate that subjects were able to complete surgical tasks 35 % faster with stereo-displayed 3DUS images compared to conventional two dimensional display of 3DUS.

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