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November 10, 2004

Augmented-Reality–Assisted Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(18):2211-2215. doi:10.1001/jama.292.18.2214-c

To the Editor: Augmented reality (AR) is the superimposition of virtual-reality reconstructions onto a real patient’s images, in real time.1 This results in the visualization of internal structures through overlying tissues, providing a virtual transparency vision of surgical anatomy. Augmented reality has been applied to neurosurgery,2,3 which has a relatively fixed space, frames, and bony reference; this facilitates relating virtual and real data, and registering both images to each other. In contrast, the deformation of abdominal organs due to the heartbeat, ventilation, or laparoscopic insufflation has limited the application of AR in general surgery.4,5 We report what we believe is the first use of AR technology for general surgery in humans.

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