< Back to previous page


Augmented reality solutions to support minimally invasive medical interventions

Book - Dissertation

Epicardial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat patients with ventricular tachycardia by destroying cardiac tissue using a catheter. A long needle is inserted through the patient's abdomen just below the breastbone to reach the pericardium. This is often performed in a blind approach, meaning that the exact location of underlying tissue and organs is not known. As a result, there is a risk of damaging nearby organs such as the liver and lungs during the epicardial puncture. To address this problem, imaging techniques such as MRI and CT scans can be used to create an "inside-out view" of the patient's anatomy. By overlaying the images in the operating room with the patient's actual body using augmented reality glasses, it would enable doctors to visualize the location of surrounding organs and tissues and estimate the correct path to the epicardial surface of the heart during the epicardial access. This approach has the potential to reduce the risk of damage to surrounding structures and improve the success rate of the procedure. Therefore, this manuscript presents an innovative approach to support needle placement for epicardial access using an augmented reality environment. The proposed solution merges preoperative images, models, and planning data with the physician's field of view through an optical see-through mounted display (Microsoft HoloLens 2). The manuscript focuses on AR solutions for cardiac ablations, with a particular emphasis on epicardial ablation. Furthermore, this work explores the potential application of AR in the clinical context, including its educational benefits. The initial focus of our work centers on epicardial punctures, demonstrating how our approach can effectively address specific needs. Additionally, we highlight that our approach may be adaptable to a broad range of different clinical contexts, indicating the versatility and potential utility of this technology.
Publication year:2024