Technology allows doctors to 'see' blood vessels more clearly

Cai Wenjun
A new mixed reality surgical navigation system is making it easier for doctors to conduct skin grafts on major trauma patients.
Cai Wenjun

Local doctors are using mixed reality (MR) technology to have a clearer view of patients’ blood vessels, and have already conducted the world’s first skin removal surgery using MR surgical navigation, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital announced on Friday.

Patients with major trauma usually require skin transplants, which require doctors to remove healthy skin from other parts of the body to cover injured areas and connect blood vessels from the transplanted tissue.

Traditionally, the process is aided by ultrasonic guidance, which is two-dimensional and not very accurate.

To improve such operations, a team from the hospital led by Li Qingfeng cooperated with the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology to develop the MR system which can provide a high-accuracy digital representation of patients’ blood vessels and allow long-distance consultation.

“Under the system, doctors can directly ‘see’ the vessels. The new technology offers new opportunities for plastics surgery, which will become more minimally invasive and intelligent,” Li said.

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