How To Film a Surgery Video

Photo of medical operation

Filming with videos is nowadays used even in surgery procedures. This has become such an essential learning tool for doctors and other medical students. With the videos, doctors will be able to learn or master surgery techniques, as well as review the procedures during postoperative surgery deliberation. Filming also helps when there arises complications while in surgery. With everything properly documented, the doctors would be able to review what went wrong and do the necessary steps to correct or avoid it.

The video clips from a surgery procedure become part of the hospital’s growing library of cases, to which the hospital staff can refer to from time to time. But the thing with making a surgery video though is that sometimes the video camera presents limited access. Thus, the first thing to remember if you want to film a surgery video is to get a well-designed camera built for this type of shoot. Get one that is versatile and can be easily accessible.

As surgery procedures are crucial, you can't just bring any type of camera. You definitely cannot bring those heavy duty ones to the operating room, even if these will be able to capture images better, as this may be obtrusive. What's important to note is that filming a surgery is for documentation purposes and not for artistic endeavors. A simple, small camera should do fine as long as it will be able to get complete footage.

Next, decide on where to place the camera. As stated, a smaller one is better as it can be handheld and therefore, can reach certain angles and areas. It will be able to properly document the procedure. However some other procedures may require the camera to remain in one place, such as with laparotomies, where going over the doctor's shoulder would not be proper.

In some hospitals, the camera is usually placed to the side of where the anesthesiologist is standing. This is because there is less activity in this area. The camera remains still and the surgeons can all move about freely and do their work. If you are the one filming the procedure, then you must ask the anesthesiologist about possibly sharing floor space with him.

Angle shots are quite a challenge with surgery videos. For instance, how can you shoot a kidney operation or appendectomy when the best viable position is actually overhead? The camera then must be placed directly where the wound will be. And here is where a stand or tripod comes in.

When you have to use a tripod, be sure to ask permission from the medical people in the room, as this is another piece of equipment you are bringing into an already high-pressure area. If they agree to this, then the best position of the camera would be placing it on the tripod and cranking it high enough to spot and frame the wound. Usually, the best angle would be from above the surgeon’s head. Tilt the camera down and make use of a rig for the adjustments.

Having a tripod should also work for the camera-person as sometimes procedures take ten hours or more to finish. It would be very tiring to hold a camera all the way through this.

Lastly, the hospital could do well investing in more high tech equipment such as headlight camera or swan neck camera for future use. This will eliminate the need for a camera-person and everything would be controlled on a computer.


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