Augmented reality(AR) is the concept of a digitally created perception that enhances components of the real-world to allow better engagement with it. Within healthcare, there has been a recent expansion of AR solutions, especially in the field of surgery. Traditional renal cancer surgery has been largely replaced by minimally invasive laparoscopic (or robotic) partial nephrectomies. This has meant loss of certain intra-operative experiences such as haptic feedback and AR can aid this replacement with enhanced visual and patient-specific feedback. The kidney is a dynamic organ and current AR development has revolved around specific surgical stages such as safe arterial clamping and perfecting tumour margins. This chapter discusses the current state of AR technology in these areas with key attention to the aspects of image registration, organ tracking, tissue deformation and live imaging. The chapter then discusses limitations of AR, such as intentional blindness and depth perception and provides potential future ideas and solutions. These include inventions such as AR headsets and 3D-printed renal models (with the possibility of remote surgical intervention). AR provides a very positive outcome for the future of truly minimally invasive renal surgery. However, current AR needs validation, cost evaluation and thorough planning before being safely integrated into everyday surgical practice.
Part of the book: Evolving Trends in Kidney Cancer