In minimally invasive surgery, image quality is a critical pre-requisite to ensure a surgeons ability to perform a procedure. In endoscopic procedures, image quality can deteriorate for a number of reasons such as fogging due to the temperature gradient after intra-corporeal insertion, lack of focus and due to smoke generated when using electro-cautery to dissect tissues without bleeding. In this paper we investigate the use of vision processing techniques to remove surgical smoke and improve the clarity of the image. We model the image formation process by introducing a haze medium to account for the degradation of visibility. For simplicity and computational efficiency we use an adapted dark-channel prior method combined with histogram equalization to remove smoke artifacts to recover the radiance image and enhance the contrast and brightness of the final result. Our initial results on images from robotic assisted procedures are promising and show that the proposed approach may be used to enhance image quality during surgery without additional suction devices. In addition, the processing pipeline may be used as an important part of a robust surgical vision pipeline that can continue working in the presence of smoke.
Kevin Tchaka, Vijay M. Pawar, and Danail Stoyanov, "Chromaticity based smoke removal in endoscopic images," Proc. SPIE 10133, Medical Imaging 2017: Image Processing, 101331M (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 15, 2017; Published: 24 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254622.
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