USAF Hospital Langley: First active duty hospital with 3-D laparoscopic capability
U.S. Air Force Capt. Stuart Winkler, left, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron obstetrician, uses a 3-D scope and glasses while performing a hysterectomy at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The 3-D technology is new in the operating rooms at Langley which gives surgeons accuracy, speed and precision during surgical tasks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ciara Gosier)
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — United States Air Force Hospital Langley is the first active duty military hospital in the U.S. to have a 3-D laparoscopic camera.
The hospital is now able to perform between three and six surgeries per month using the new technology.
The flexible camera, less than one-centimeter wide, is inserted through a one-centimeter port and gives surgeons the ability to see 100 degrees in all directions.
Surgeons are able to see the anatomy of the surgical site via monitor, using 3-D glasses.
"The new camera saves time because of the ability to look around with the flexible scope, which was once like working with one eye closed," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Stuart Winkler, 633rd Medical Group obstetrician/gynecologist. "Having the 3-D ability lets us see using both eyes."
Not only is Langley's hospital the first in the active duty military to receive the camera, but it is one of the firsts in the local area as well.
Many members of the Joint Base Langley-Eustis community may not be aware this less-invasive procedure is an option available to them.
"Over half of the hysterectomy cases we perform at Langley don't require advanced 3-D laparoscopic surgery," said Winkler who is one of seven obstetricians/gynecologists at Langley. "But ultimately, for challenging surgeries, the 3-D system can improve patient care by giving the surgeon the tools to complete the case laparoscopically instead of converting to a larger open incision."
Tim Vincent, Olympus surgical endoscopy territory manager, said the device gives surgeons accuracy, speed and precision during surgical tasks such as dissection, grasping and suturing, when compared to the 2-D version.
Patients' recovery time is now lessened. For instance, while an open abdominal hysterectomy, requires a four to six week convalescent period, most laparoscopic patients can recover in two weeks.
"This new technology avoids additional unnecessary trauma," said Winkler. "Having this [at Langley] shows progress and dedication to lead the way in our community."
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