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Minimal Access Therapy Training Unit (mattu)

Location:

Guildford, UK

Sector:

Education

Introduction:

The Minimal Access Therapy Training Unit (MATTU) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the teaching of innovative laparoscopic surgical techniques. Created in 1995, the MATTU was one of three original centres in the UK to be awarded recognition and funding by the Government in conjunction with the Royal College of Surgeons and the Wolfson Foundation. The MATTU has grown to become the busiest and most successful laparoscopic training unit in the UK, with over 60 courses each year that cover the whole spectrum of minimal access surgery.

The MATTU is located adjacent to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, forming part of the Post Graduate Medical School at the University of Surrey and designated as a national training centre for laparoscopic colorectal surgery.

The project brief:

As part of a large-scale project, proAV has been tasked with the project to deliver the industry’s most advanced audio visual and imaging technologies to the MATTU and the hospital to support the training and research facilities at the unit and create an internationally-recognised centre for minimally-invasive surgery.

The first stage of this project comprised extensive display, projection and conferencing equipment together with fibre optic cable connectivity between five operating theatres at the hospital and the MATTU facility. The fibre optic cable run over a 2.5km distance was an exceptional achievement. World class audio visual systems were installed throughout the post graduate lecture theatres, including a 100-seat theatre, hub facility, technician’s control room and meeting room. Upgrades to projection, conferencing and display equipment have continued in line with the demand for high quality medical training and research facilities.

The MATTU audio visual project culminated in 2010 with an upgrade to 3D imaging systems, which incorporated the replacement of the majority of laparoscopic SD cameras in the hospital’s operating theatres to HD camera unit, supported by new HD feeds over the existing fibre optic cabling and new widescreen touch controls.

In 2010, the first ever laparoscopic surgery to be conducted using three-dimensional imaging was carried out by Iain Jourdan, a surgeon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. During the surgery, a camera sent two live video feeds taken from slightly different angles, as it surveyed the abdominal cavity from within, resulting in a more accurate cutting and stitching capability and changed the future of laparoscopic surgery.

The 3D image is created by signals, which are polarised in opposite directions, resulting in images displayed as alternating rows of pixels on a High Definition television screen. The polarising lenses of the glasses filter these images so each eye sees only one and the brain combines them to create the impression of depth, width and height.

In addition to the above AV technologies, the Karl Storz skill centre at the MATTU was equipped with a professional postproduction editing suite where all signals and images can be edited, recorded onto DVD and distributed as training materials to support the many courses and programmes held at the MATTU each year.

The entire 3D and HD upgrade project for the MATTU demanded a strategic programme of installation, which was designed and coordinated by proAV to deliver and commission all components out of hospital and working hours to eliminate disruption to operations and training modules.

proAV’s solution at MATTU demonstrates how AV technologies are not only transforming the way the healthcare sector conducts procedures and improves results, but are also inspiring and educating a new generation of students and researchers by delivering a unique insight into radical medical techniques that save lives.

The industry’s most dynamic audio visual systems were incorporated into this large scale project, with facilities installed and upgraded across training, research and operating areas. Key technologies include the following:

  • Projector systems including 3D and SXGA video/data projection solutions with picture-in-picture (PIP), seamless switching and motorised projection screen
  • Multiple SXGA, LCD and plasma display screens and LCD display panels
  • Interactive writing tablets
  • Video monitors, scan convertors and PIP processors
  • Programme sound/voice reinforcement system
  • Talk-back/intercom system
  • Professional audio system, including microphones, speakers and stereo amplifier
  • MPEG-1 webcast streamer
  • HD video conferencing system including codec and cameras
  • Switching and control equipment including matrix switcher, video distribution amplifiers, control system processor, touchpanels and colour touch control
  • Fibre optic conversion equipment for two way video, 2 channel two way audio, MPD data Rx and MM

In summary:

proAV’s professional audio visual systems have played a crucial role in the UK's first 3D laparoscopic surgery as part of a project that looks set to change the future of minimal access surgical procedures in hospitals across the country. Today, delegates and researchers from all over the world now attend this international centre of excellence for telesurgery.

The industry’s most advanced High Definition, 3D video technologies are now enabling groundbreaking surgery to be conducted regularly and shared with viewing medical students. This technology gives the surgeon and students a detailed impression of depth, height and width allowing for more accurate cutting and stitching.  MATTU’s new technologies have set the bar for a new era of surgical techniques that will reduce operating times and cost and hasten the recovery period for patients.  

proAV’s solution at MATTU demonstrates how AV technologies are not only transforming the way the healthcare sector conducts procedures and improves results, but are also inspiring and educating a new generation of students and researchers by delivering a unique insight into radical medical techniques that save lives.