Real-time image-based instrument classification for laparoscopic surgery

During laparoscopic surgery, context-aware assistance systems aim to alleviate some of the difficulties the surgeon faces. To ensure that the right information is provided at the right time, the current phase of the intervention has to be known... Real-time locating and classification the surgical tools currently in use are key components of both an activity-based phase recognition and assistance generation. In this paper, we present an image-based approach that detects and classifies tools during laparoscopic interventions in real-time. First, potential instrument bounding boxes are detected using a pixel-wise random forest segmentation. Each of these bounding boxes is then classified using a cascade of random forest. For this, multiple features, such as histograms over hue and saturation, gradients and SURF feature, are extracted from each detected bounding box. We evaluated our approach on five different videos from two different types of procedures. We distinguished between the four most common classes of instruments (LigaSure, atraumatic grasper, aspirator, clip applier) and background. Our method succesfully located up to 86% of all instruments respectively. On manually provided bounding boxes, we achieve a instrument type recognition rate of up to 58% and on automatically detected bounding boxes up to 49%. To our knowledge, this is the first approach that allows an image-based classification of surgical tools in a laparoscopic setting in real-time. read more

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