The third dimension of surgery videos

Behind the scenes recording the first AOCMF 3D surgical videos

13 June 2018

3d surgery shanghai aocmf

Let's get the facts straight: 16,000 CMF surgical procedures, 100 surgeons, 480 beds. These are not the health-care figures of a small country but of one highly specialized hospital, the Ninth People's Hospital in Shanghai. With those numbers, top-notch technology and an even more impressive teaching and training mission, it’s not surprising that this hospital is the location of choice for production of AO Foundation surgical videos recorded in 3D.

Patients requiring treatment by craniomaxillofacial (CMF), plastic, and ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons find all specialists at the Ninth People's Hospital—all under one roof, in a 21-floor building. Equipped with the latest diagnostic tools and in-house facilities for pre-operative planning and 3D printing, this hospital represents top-notch technology in all fields of craniomaxillofacial surgery. While the technical equipment is stunning, the teaching and training mission of the hospital is even more impressive. Every year, numerous fellows learn how to best conduct an anastomosis, how to do proper pre-operative planning and when and how to use patient specific implants.



The AO Foundation asked Daniel Buchbinder, Chair AO Technical Commission Executive Board, from New York, to find a suitable location for the production of surgical videos, recorded in 3D. Adding the third dimension to high resolution surgery videos makes them more realistic and easier to demonstrate important procedural steps. Buchbinder’s choice for an appropriate location was assertive and quick: The Ninth People's Hospital's Shanghai Head and Neck Cancer Treatment and Translational Medicine Centre guided by the Executive Director, Chenping Zhang.


With the outstanding technical support of Dynamic Gravity, it was possible to produce—in just one week—a total of five surgical videos, all recorded with great enthusiasm and impressive high technology: a self-developed live surgery filming system, with two 4K-3D cameras, that allows to realize real-time color and 3D effects adjustment. This is the first time such technology is used for CMF surgery videos. So far, this method was reserved for big movie productions (e. g. Ang Lee's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"). The necessary technical equipment occasionally changed the operation theater into a TV studio.

The collaboration between the highly skilled and trained surgeons from the Ninth People's Hospital and the video production engineers worked in perfect harmony, not unlike the performance of the world's best ballets dancers being supported by a virtuosic philharmonic orchestra.

The 3D videos currently are in post-production. They will be ready to download later this year from the AOCMF website and might also be used in future AO courses.

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