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Now, camera pills for surgeons!

health and fitness Updated: Mar 07, 2009 21:14 IST
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Health seems to be going hi-tech, thanks to scientists who have now developed camera pills and ultra-sound creating maps, which they claim will facilitate in accurate surgery and stressing patients as little as possible.

In fact, an international team has created a new IT- based window on the inside of the body, which makes a patient transparent on a screen when a surgeon inserts instruments via small openings in the abdominal wall.

What the system actually does is transform X-ray and nuclear magnetic resonance (MR) images into three-dimensional maps by which the surgeon can navigate when he performs key- hole surgery in the abdominal cavity.

Moreover, the system provides information that enables the surgeon to avoid blood vessels and other vital organs when he operates through small openings in the abdominal wall.

And, according to the scientists, the technique enables the surgeon to select a more lenient keyhole approach in operations that otherwise demand large, open interventions, thereby putting less stress on the patient's body.

"With a better view of vital organs and blood vessels, a surgeon can perform keyhole surgery with an extra high margin of safety, and can employ keyhole surgery much more often than before to remove tumours in organs that would not otherwise be easily accessible to keyhole interventions," said lead scientist Thomas Lange of SINTEF in the Netherlands. (MORE)

A hospital in the Netherlands has now purchased the SINTEF software for the system, and doctors from Trondheim and Utrecht will also collaborate in documenting the benefits of the technique.

The pill's sensor package includes sensors based on ultrasound, spectroscopy, and biosensors, and it will collect tissue samples.

"We are working on the navigation system that will make it possible to know exactly where the capsule is in the digestive system at any given time, and control it to perform various operations.

"If everything goes according to plan, we will be able to 'open wide' for the smart pill in about four years," Lango said.