Navigating inner space: 3-D assistance for minimally invasive surgery

Darius Burschka, Jason J. Corso, Maneesh Dewan, William Lau, Ming Li, Henry Lin, Panadda Marayong, Nicholas Ramey, Gregory D. Hager, Brian Hoffman, David Larkin, Christopher Hasser

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Since its inception about three decades ago, modern minimally invasive surgery has made huge advances in both technique and technology. However, the minimally invasive surgeon is still faced with daunting challenges in terms of visualization and hand-eye coordination. At the Center for Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology (CISST) we have been developing a set of techniques for assisting surgeons in navigating and manipulating the three-dimensional space within the human body. In order to develop such systems, a variety of challenging visual tracking, reconstruction and registration problems must be solved. In addition, this information must be tied to methods for assistance that improve surgical accuracy and reliability but allow the surgeon to retain ultimate control of the procedure and do not prolong time in the operating room. In this article, we present two problem areas, eye microsurgery and thoracic minimally invasive surgery, where computational vision can play a role. We then describe methods we have developed to process video images for relevant geometric information, and related control algorithms for providing interactive assistance. Finally, we present results from implemented systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-26
Number of pages22
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 31 2005


  • 3D reconstruction
  • Direct-stereo tracking
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Tool tracking
  • Virtual fixtures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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