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Neurosurgery. 1998 Aug;43(2):392-5; discussion 395-6.

Stereoscopic head-mounted display incorporated into microsurgical procedures: technical note.

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Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, The University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA.



We have previously evaluated video technologies that have allowed for the use of electronic imaging during microneurosurgical and endoscopic procedures. This stereoscopic camera set and monitor/recording system allows for the use of stereoscopic images during surgery by the primary surgical assistant and ancillary personnel. It also allows for stereoscopic recording and playback using a wide video home system format. We describe a novel prototype of a head-mounted display (HMD) that allows the surgical team to simultaneously visualize the surgical field stereoscopically and includes picture-in-picture, voice control, and stereoscopic recording capabilities.


A stereoscopic HMD with 640 x 480 (video graphics array) pixel resolution and the ability to display 24-bit images has been designed. This device weighs 900 g. It is interfaceable with common video display formats.


This stereoscopic HMD is being evaluated in a prospective multicenter trial of open microsurgical and endoscopic minimally invasive procedures. In our experience to date, there have been no equipment failures or complications attributable to the use of the display system. The equipment was well accepted by users who reported significant benefits in visualization.


The use of a stereoscopic HMD may result in improved efficiency and safety in both endoscopic and open microsurgical procedures. We have verified that the HMD is comfortable during the course of a surgical procedure, is reliable, and allows for accessibility to the operative field with an excellent field of view and three-dimensional perception. Positioning and dexterity within the operative field are also enhanced. Additional uses relate to surgical training, multimodal information display, and operative rehearsals.

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