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Real‐time computed tomography‐based augmented reality for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery navigation. BJS 2012; 99: 1246-1253.

Published: 2nd August 2012

Authors: D. E. Azagury, M. Ryou, S. N. Shaikh, R. San José Estépar, B. I. Lengyel, J. Jagadeesan et al.

Background

Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) is technically challenging owing to endoscopic short‐sighted visualization, excessive scope flexibility and lack of adequate instrumentation. Augmented reality may overcome these difficulties. This study tested whether an image registration system for NOTES procedures (IR‐NOTES) can facilitate navigation.

Method

In three human cadavers 15 intra‐abdominal organs were targeted endoscopically with and without IR‐NOTES via both transgastric and transcolonic routes, by three endoscopists with different levels of expertise. Ease of navigation was evaluated objectively by kinematic analysis, and navigation complexity was determined by creating an organ access complexity score based on the same data.

Results

Without IR‐NOTES, 21 (11·7 per cent) of 180 targets were not reached (expert endoscopist 3, advanced 7, intermediate 11), compared with one (1 per cent) of 90 with IR‐NOTES (intermediate endoscopist) (P = 0·002). Endoscope movements were significantly less complex in eight of the 15 listed organs when using IR‐NOTES. The most complex areas to access were the pelvis and left upper quadrant, independently of the access route. The most difficult organs to access were the spleen (5 failed attempts; 3 of 7 kinematic variables significantly improved) and rectum (4 failed attempts; 5 of 7 kinematic variables significantly improved). The time needed to access the rectum through a transgastric approach was 206·3 s without and 54·9 s with IR‐NOTES (P = 0·027).

Conclusion

The IR‐NOTES system enhanced both navigation efficacy and ease of intra‐abdominal NOTES exploration for operators of all levels. The system rendered some organs accessible to non‐expert operators, thereby reducing one impediment to NOTES procedures. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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