Brain surgeons in Brazil have started connecting old iPhones to their endoscopes (panels A and B) to get a clearer view of the brains of patients (panels C, D and E)
Credit: Courtesy of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons
In most cases, you probably want the doctor who is going to perform your brain surgery to put aside your smartphone before poking at your skull. And, in most cases, you will be right.
But, what if the doctor's smartphone was a crucial part of the surgical toolkit?
According to a new article published today (March 13) in the Journal of Neurosurgery, brain surgeons in Brazil have begun to connect old iPhones to their surgical team to replace the bulky and expensive camcorders and monitors they usually use, and doctors like. [10 Weird Quirks of The Human Brain]
In fact, the exchange on a smartphone made certain "minimally invasive" surgeries cheaper, more efficient, and easier to teach to novice surgeons, the authors wrote. This telephony method could even become a valuable solution in countries whose infrastructure can not support expensive medical equipment.
"Our initial goal was to reduce the cost of neuroendoscopic videogames," study co-author Mauricio Mandel, a physician at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo, said in a statement. "In the end, we find a new method more intuitive and fluid to perform these procedures."
Mandel and his colleagues tested their smartphone camera in a series of neuroendoscopy surgeries: procedures that involve cutting a small hole in the patient's nose, mouth or head and using an endoscope (a long, flexible tube) to power a camera and other surgical devices. tools through the incision.
Normally, these procedures require a long and thin video camera to slide through the endoscope and capture the view inside the patient's head. This video transmission is transmitted to a monitor that is standing next to the operating table, which the surgeons observe (instead of looking at their patient).
In the new study, the authors mounted iPhones (models 4, 5 and 6) on their endoscopes using a special adapter. Using this device, they performed brain surgery in 42 patients. This configuration allowed the surgeons to focus their attention on the patient, looking at the telephone screen instead of looking up on a monitor, throughout the surgery. Using the phone's built-in Wi-Fi, the surgeons transmitted the live footage to a video monitor in another part of the room so that other members of the team could see it.
According to the authors, the 42 surgeries were successful and there were no complications with smartphones. Also, once the surgeons started using a smart phone endoscope, they chose not to go back to the conventional method.
As funny as it sounds, the integration of smartphones into surgeries has many advantages, the authors said. According to the document, the high definition screen of the phone provided an "excellent view" of the surgical site, and could be manipulated or improved in real time through the touch screen. Smartphones are cheaper and more portable than standard endoscopic video equipment, the authors added, and do not require an external power source. If a surgery lasts a long time, a surgeon can simply recharge the phone's battery without interrupting the procedure.
So, if your surgeon can not leave your iPhone, do not worry, it may be for more aerodynamic surgery. However, if she is only using it to look at "Gray & # 39; s Anatomy", you may have a problem.
Originally published in Live Science.