Article Abstract

Innovative surgical endoscopes in video-assisted thoracic surgery

Authors: Truman Cheng, Calvin S. H. Ng, Zheng Li


In the past three decades, rod lens endoscopes had facilitated the development and wide spread applications of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). With the rise of uniportal VATS in recent years, innovations in surgical instruments should once again complement the advancement in surgical technique. While articulated flexible endoscopes have expand the field of view, and can alter viewing direction with minimal maneuvers, they still suffer from problems like trocar crowding and interference with other instruments. Magnetic anchored endoscopes, on the other hand, may provide unique benefits to VATS by replacing the endoscope rigid rod body with magnetic linkage, thus overcoming the challenge of port crowding in single incision surgery. Most magnetic anchored endoscopes reported in literature are not designed for thoracic surgeries. Many of these designs do not allow tilting of endoscopic view, rely on micromotors for actuation, or are ergonomically unfit to be operated within the spatial constraints seen in VATS application. Considering these limitations, we have designed two novel magnetic anchored and steered endoscopes targeted for uniportal VATS. Both designs could be wirelessly actuated by magnetic interaction. One has a silicone rubber formed soft body for compactness, lightweight and safety, while another is a 40 mm long capsule optimized for VATS spatial constraints.