1512: stereoscopic 3D surgical videos

The first time I used a heads-up 3D viewing system for cataract surgery was more than 10 years ago. By mounting stereoscopic video cameras to the surgical microscope and then connecting the output to a 3D television monitor, I was able to perform cataract surgery. Over the past decade the camera resolution has improved to 4k with higher frame rates and better image processing. For use during a long surgery such as a complex vitreo-retinal case, there can be an ergonomic benefit for the surgeon to have the freedom of comfortable positioning without having to hunch over the fixed oculars. Also in some unusual cases, the 3D systems can help with patients who are unable to be positioned supine such as this case.

However, my question to you is not regarding performing the surgery. Rather, I want to know if you would rather learn from surgical videos in 3D even if that means that you need to wear a VR (virtual reality) headset. Most of our CataractCoach viewers are using a mobile device (cell phone or tablet) to stream these videos with a smaller portion using a laptop or desktop computer. Let me know if the comments below if you think it would be beneficial to watch 3D videos.

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  1. A virtual reality headset would make these educational videos more difficult and inconvenient to view

  2. For me, 3d is not worth it for most videos. I usually use my ipad for videos and for the occasional 3d video, try to relax convergence till the 2 images merge. Interesting novelty, but causes some eye strain.

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