Infoscience

Conference paper

Design and Psychophysical Evaluation of a Tactile Pulse Display for Teleoperated Artery Palpation

During traditional open procedures, surgeons directly palpate tissues before dissecting them. In this way, they can avoid the accidental damage of hidden arteries that can lead to fatal hemorrhage. New Minimally Invasive Surgical (MIS) techniques progressively decreased the instrument access into the patient’s body to reduce scars and side effects. The major drawback of these procedures is that they do not permit surgeons to perform direct tactile exploration of internal tissues. Surgeons have to rely on preoperative images and anatomical knowledge to avoid artery locations. However, the exact artery position changes depending on the patient and his posture. Hence, it is of primary importance to assist surgeons with technology that can guide them during the surgical procedure. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a tactile display that reproduces pulse-like feedback on the surgeon’s fingertip. The display bandwidth and performance of the adhoc control unit were assessed with encouraging results. In addition, the outcome of two psychophysical studies carried out in this work validate the usability of the display in terms of user perception.

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