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Visualization Tools From KARL STORZ Enable Surgeons to See into Dark Areas & Identify Vascularization More Precisely

Companies mentioned in this article: Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc., a leader in endoscopy and operating room integration solutions, is proud to announce the availability of its new IMAGE 1® SPIES™ visualization enhancement tools. These advanced video solutions are intended to give surgeons previously unavailable capabilities that can help enhance the level of care delivered to patients and support increases in surgical volumes. In particular, the modular SPIES Clara™ and SPIES Chroma™ systems give surgeons improved visualization of challenging anatomical areas during critical or complex procedures.

View in the sella, looking beyond the optic chiasm and lateral to the pituitary stalk, comparing the ...

View in the sella, looking beyond the optic chiasm and lateral to the pituitary stalk, comparing the relatively low dynamic range of conventional technology (left) to the high dynamic range achieved with SPIES Chroma(TM) and SPIES Clara(TM) (right). (Photo: Business Wire)

Previously, skull base surgeons have been challenged during endoscopic surgery when they are working deep in the sino-nasal anatomy. Posterior aspects of this narrow and deep corridor can appear dark, and anatomy and pathology may be hidden from the surgeon’s view. This is similar to driving into a dark tunnel where your view is compromised coming from the bright outside to the dark inside. In an effort to overcome this challenge, skull base surgeons often move the telescope closer to dark areas for increased illumination and light reflection. The dark area may then be properly visualized, but overview and space for any instruments can be compromised. In addition, the telescope may come in contact with tissue, resulting in mucous and blood being transferred to the lens. Keeping the lens clean intraoperatively can prolong the surgery time.

Dark areas caused by a lack of illumination and reflection within deep cavities as well as an insufficient dynamic range of the camera imager. Because the brightness of all pixels of the camera imager is raised or lowered at the same time, making adjustments to the brightness can make the foreground too bright or the background too dark. This low dynamic range is a limitation of the technology used today.

Another challenge for skull base surgeons is to identify and safeguard critical structures, such as the carotid arteries, pituitary gland and optic nerve when operating in a highly vascularized environment. Today’s conventional edge-enhancement technology can be limited by color distortion of the overall image after a certain level is reached.

The IMAGE 1® SPIES™ system helps enable surgeons to overcome these visualization hurdles. In addition to simplifying complex surgical conditions, SPIES Chroma™ and SPIES Clara™ can help minimize waiting time. And, with their modular design and with future needs handled through simple, cost-effective upgrades, they support standardize without compromise.

The response among surgeons who are trying the new technologies and the increased visualization capabilities they provide has been positive, according to Thomas Prescher, PhD, MBA, Director of Upstream Marketing, KARL STORZ, and Monica Ambrose, Director, Sales and Marketing, Neurosurgery, Spine and Microscopy, KARL STORZ. Commenting on reports from surgeons, they add that “SPIES Clara has allowed them to see clearly into this very small, deep and dark cavity, permitting greater manipulation of instruments because they can keep the telescope farther away than they normally do. SPIES Chroma has helped them to see the vascularity more precisely around the optic chiasm. It also created an improved sense of depth.”

KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc., is an affiliate of KARL STORZ GmbH & Co. KG, an international leader for more than 65 years in reusable endoscope technology, encompassing all endoscopic specialties. Based in Tuttlingen, Germany, KARL STORZ GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned company that designs, engineers, manufactures, and markets all its products with an emphasis on visionary design, precision craftsmanship and clinical effectiveness. For more information, call 800-421-0837 or visit the company’s Web site at

Copyright © Business Wire 2014

KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc.
Susan Jaffy Marx, 424-218-8701
Marketing Communications