Prototype of an intraoperative navigation and documentation system for laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation: First experiences

P. Hildebrand*, S. Schlichting, V. Martens, A. Besirevic, M. Kleemann, U. Roblick, L. Mirow, C. Bürk, A. Schweikard, H. P. Bruch

*Corresponding author for this work
19 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an accepted approach to treat unresectable liver tumours, distinguishing itself from other techniques by combining minimal invasiveness and the advantages of a surgical approach. The major task of laparoscopic RFA is the accurate needle placement according to preoperative planning to achieve complete tumour ablation. This study investigates the value of an image-guided surgery system to accomplish this task. Methods: An image-guided surgery system for laparoscopic liver treatments (LapAssistent) based on a 3D-navigation scene was developed. A laparoscopic ultrasound probe and a RFA needle could be navigated using an electromagnetic tracking system. The system was studied using a perfused tumour-mimic-model of a porcine liver. Navigating the RFA needle, the tumours were ablated. Results: The system enables the surgeon to intraoperatively update the three-dimensional planning data in case of new findings. The RFA needle could be placed accurately in a targeted tumour, even out of the ultrasound plane. In case of multiple tumours lying in close spatial relationship, the documentation module helps to keep track of the already ablated tumours and those that still need to be treated. Conclusion: The system adds benefit to laparoscopic RFA enabling the surgeon to place the needle accurately inside the targeted tumours using the navigation scene. A manual alignment of the preoperative data to the physical space produces a feasible result for a restricted region. A precise measurement of the accuracy of this process has to be done. The possibility to update the three-dimensional model with new intraoperative findings enables the surgeon to adapt to a new intraoperative situation. Furthermore the possibility to mark ablated tumours helps to keep track of the operation plan.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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