During conventional laparoscopy, surgeons navigate the 3-dimensional (3D) space within the patient via indirect depth cues present in 2-dimensional (2D) display images.1 These cues include shadows, relative motion, texture, and color gradients and, while correlated with 3D structure, they do not support direct depth perception, as is the case for binocular disparity. Indirect depth cues are often degraded in operating conditions in which precise depth perception is critical.2 Examples include operating in limited light, such as in the depths of a narrow pelvis, and in low-contrast conditions, such as within dark, blood-stained tissue.
Sakata S, Grove PM, Stevenson ARL. Effect of 3-Dimensional Vision on Surgeons Using the da Vinci Robot for LaparoscopyMore Than Meets the Eye. JAMA Surg. 2016;151(9):793-794. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.0412