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Real-time three-dimensional soft tissue reconstruction for laparoscopic surgery



Accurate real-time 3D models of the operating field have the potential to enable augmented reality for endoscopic surgery. A new system is proposed to create real-time 3D models of the operating field that uses a custom miniaturized stereoscopic video camera attached to a laparoscope and an image-based reconstruction algorithm implemented on a graphics processing unit (GPU).


The proposed system was evaluated in a porcine model that approximates the viewing conditions of in vivo surgery. To assess the quality of the models, a synthetic view of the operating field was produced by overlaying a color image on the reconstructed 3D model, and an image rendered from the 3D model was compared with a 2D image captured from the same view.


Experiments conducted with an object of known geometry demonstrate that the system produces 3D models accurate to within 1.5 mm.


The ability to produce accurate real-time 3D models of the operating field is a significant advancement toward augmented reality in minimally invasive surgery. An imaging system with this capability will potentially transform surgery by helping novice and expert surgeons alike to delineate variance in internal anatomy accurately.

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Jędrzej Kowalczuk, Avishai Meyer, Jay Carlson, Eric T. Psota, Shelby Buettner, Lance C. Pérez, Shane M. Farritor, and Dmitry Oleynikov have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Dmitry Oleynikov.

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Kowalczuk, J., Meyer, A., Carlson, J. et al. Real-time three-dimensional soft tissue reconstruction for laparoscopic surgery. Surg Endosc 26, 3413–3417 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-012-2355-8

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  • Augmented reality
  • Computer-integrated surgery
  • Image-based reconstruction
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Real-time stereo matching
  • Robotic surgery