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With the increased use of laparoscopic, endoscopic, arthroscopic and thoroscopic surgery, it was just a matter of time before the use of a video monitor would be introduced into the surgical suite. Prior to that time, the eye piece of the lens was literally held up to the surgeon’s eye. Not only did this promote unsterile conditions, it made it impossible for the assistants around the table to anticipate the needs of the surgeon or to see what was going on. The surgeon used one hand to hold the scope and the other to hold instruments or perform procedures.
The introduction of video monitors not only increased the efficiency of the surgeon by making both hands available for surgery and giving the scope with a camera attached to it to an assistant to hold, it made it possible for the assistants to help grasp tissue with special laparoscopic instruments because they could now see the surgical field.
Use of video monitors made it possible for a large audience of students to learn specific maneuvers without being scrubbed at the field. A record of the entire surgery was available if the recording device was utilized. If networking is employed, several monitors are connected and placed strategically around the operating room, giving a bird’s eye view to the entire OR staff.
State of the art video equipment now includes computer operated robotic arms employed to hold the scope with the camera attached. One brand is Aesop. The arm is attached to the operating table and draped with a sterile drape. Voice activated, the arm moves up and down telescoping in and out, and side to side by obeying the commands of the surgeons voice which is programmed into the computer prior to the surgery. Making use of robotic arms to hold the scope insures consistent motion in a dynamic situation.