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J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci. 2011 Jul;18(4):506-9. doi: 10.1007/s00534-011-0385-6.

Augmented reality and image overlay navigation with OsiriX in laparoscopic and robotic surgery: not only a matter of fashion.

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Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Department of Surgery, University Hospitals of Geneva, Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, 1211, Geneva 14, Switzerland.



New technologies can considerably improve preoperative planning, enhance the surgeon's skill and simplify the approach to complex procedures. Augmented reality techniques, robot assisted operations and computer assisted navigation tools will become increasingly important in surgery and in residents' education.


We obtained 3D reconstructions from simple spiral computed tomography (CT) slides using OsiriX, an open source processing software package dedicated to DICOM images. These images were then projected on the patient's body with a beamer fixed to the operating table to enhance spatial perception during surgical intervention (augmented reality).


Changing a window's deepness level allowed the surgeon to navigate through the patient's anatomy, highlighting regions of interest and marked pathologies. We used image overlay navigation for laparoscopic operations such cholecystectomy, abdominal exploration, distal pancreas resection and robotic liver resection.


Augmented reality techniques will transform the behaviour of surgeons, making surgical interventions easier, faster and probably safer. These new techniques will also renew methods of surgical teaching, facilitating transmission of knowledge and skill to young surgeons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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