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New 3-D scope at Phoenix Children’s making surgeries safer and faster

(Photo credit: Phoenix Children's Hospital)

Surgeons at a local hospital can now perform minimally invasive procedures in three dimensions.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been using a brand new 3-D videoscope since January, and the device is used about two to three times a week. In the past, minimally invasive procedures were performed in two dimensions. It’s like only having one eye open. The three dimensional videoscope, according to Dr. Lisa McMahon, has opened both eyes.

“When we’re looking inside of a child’s body, we can see depth, which you don’t get with one image or one eye closed,” said McMahon, a pediatric surgeon at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

She said having that depth perception is the main difference between the new scope and the two dimensional videoscope.

“You can imagine that it would be much easier to do very intricate things like sewing inside of a cavity when you have the added dimension of depth,” McMahon added. “[The scope] definitely decreases the amount of time and makes it feel like a safer procedure, too.”

3-D technology is currently used with robotic systems, which can require larger incisions. The scope used at Phoenix Children’s, though, does not require a robotic system. That means it can be used in a minimally invasive procedure, leading to a shorter recovery time for children, and a smaller incision.

“In a child, any incision that you make is only going to grow with them, the incisions don’t get smaller,” McMahon said. “It grows in proportion with the child.”

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