Evaluation Background: 2-D, High-Definition Surgical Video Systems

January 25, 2017 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background for our Evaluation of 2-D, high-definition surgical video systems, providing a summary of our product ratings, as well as a rundown of the key aspects of the technology that are critical to making wise purchasing decisions. Learn how the technology is used, which specs are important and why, what factors we test for, hospitals' interest in each vendor, costs of ownership, and more.

Surgical video systems are used to view live, color video of the interior of the body during diagnostic and therapeutic minimally invasive surgery.

Two-dimensional, high-definition (HD) surgical video systems incorporate a camera with a pixel resolution of 1280 × 720 to 1920 × 1080. They are used with a rigid endoscope and do not provide stereoscopic images.

Surgical video systems have been in wide use since the 1980s, and are now a mature technology. However, improvements in visualization continue to occur, such as the transition from standard definition to high definition, the growing availability and popularity of ultra-high-definition (4K) systems, and the development of 3-D surgical video systems. In addition, many manufacturers have developed proprietary advanced imaging techniques to facilitate identification of tissues and blood vessels (e.g., Olympus's Narrow-Band Imaging, Karl Storz's Chroma).

The standard components of a surgical video system are:

  1. Camera control unit (CCU) or video processor

  2. Information management device

  3. Video display


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