ARRISCOPE User Experience – Prof. Dr. med. Joachim Mueller, Grosshadern Clinic, LMU Munich

My name’s Joachim Müller.
I work as an aural surgeon at LMU Munich,
and I am head of the Department of Otology
and Cochlear Implants there. Around the time I came to Munich,
we formed our first contacts with ARRI. To begin with, we wanted to try to link
the camera with surgical microscopes so that we could use
the improved image quality for teaching purposes
and for aural surgery. Together with Mr. Kiening from ARRI,
we quickly came up with the idea of developing
a completely digital microscope. And so our contacts
grew and intensified. Our initial attempts met
a couple of obstacles before we got everything the way
we wanted it. But enthusiasm and a love
for what you’re doing are simply part of furthering
an idea that you’re convinced about. Hopefully, the digital microscope
we came up with will stand the test of time over the next few decades
and centuries. And hopefully, it will also open up
new dimensions for our surgical procedures. The surgical microscope
has revolutionised aural surgery. If you compare it to photography,
it’s like going from normal photos to digital. The next logical step
for us is the digital microscope.
The opportunities for displaying images and for teaching purposes,
and for making additional functions available to the surgeon,
you can’t get that with an optical microscope.
So that’s forward thinking. If I were to speculate about the future:
I’ll probably be just about to retire,
or already retired. But I hope that the ARRISCOPE
will still be available in even further
advanced versions. I can imagine being connected
with colleagues on the other side of the globe,
via digital technology. You would have a 3D monitor
at home and you would be to give instant advice and offer assistance
during one of their surgical procedures. If, for example,
the surgery comes to halt. Back in the day, you used to get
a phone call in those kinds of situations, “Dr Müller, what should I do?
Where do we go from here?” Now, I could imagine
that you could simply turn on the TV and take a look at the current situation
and make various suggestions. If you combine this
with intelligent image processing, and display important structures
in the ear optically, like the facial nerve, or the auditory nerve,
or internal structures in the cochlea, this could be the foundation
for an improvement in surgical techniques. The most important moments
during surgery I think, if you work in aural surgery,
you need to have a certain love
for detail and precision. In aural surgery,
you’re working in a very small space. There are lots of vital structures
situated within a single cubic centimeter. And if you’re performing surgery,
you have to preserve these structures and display them precisely.
Only then it can be ensured that proper functioning
is maintained and complications are avoided.
And developing a certain passion for this is comparable to a sculptor who wants
to capture something very precisely. That’s what fascinates me
about surgery. After a surgical procedure, it is wonderful for
the surgeon if the operation was successful. And, for an aural surgeon,
that’s when the patient can hear
properly again. Or when a child, who is born deaf,
receives an electronic ear and can find his way
into the world of hearing for the first time. Because it is possible to insert
the required implant with maximum precision.

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