History of Surgical Lighting

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Ceiling-mounted Surgical Lights

Three of the most prevalent methods when it comes to surgical lighting are overhead/operating lights (as part of the category of classic surgical lights), headlamps or illuminated loupes, and in-cavity lighting.

CLASSIC SURGICAL LIGHTS

  • Over more than a century, surgical lights, also known as surgical lightning have developed since electricity was first found in 1879, with surgical light companies working continually to enhance lighting circumstances for surgeons.
  • Surgical lights are categorized by lamp type or mounting configuration, where here are two lamp types, conventional (incandescent) and LED (light emitting diode), while Surgical lighting configurations may include ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, or on floor stand.
  • Surgical lighting configurations may include ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, or on floor stand, and depending on the model, a surgical light may also be used in all three configurations.
  • The history of surgical lighting dates back to 1850s, where the operating room had windows in the ceiling and was built towards the south-east. It was very inconvenient because the medical personnel or equipment could block the light, and the weather conditions could be unfavorable.
  • Later on, the mirrors were placed at the corners of the ceiling for the purpose of reflecting the light in order to solve the problem of light being blocked by surgeons.
  • Floor stands for surgical lights were then introduced in the 1950s, while the 1880s brought ceiling-mounted surgical lights, and early 1990s brought wall-mounted surgical lights, reasons being that surgeries got more extensive and required different angles for lighting due to shading.
  • Surgeons were using halogen bulbs to increase the amount of light available on the operating table by 1960s and in the 1990s, discharge lamps doubled the available light to 200,000 lx.  
  • Discharge lamp usage however did not improve performance, but instead increased eye fatigue and decreased surgeons’ effectiveness and this resulted to operating rooms using LED lights more since 1968 onward.
  • The introduction of Ceiling- mounted surgical lights has played a major role on the evolution of surgical lights, since it has served to provide outstanding visualization by which the outcome of the patient is improved, illumination in the site of surgery is provided efficiently, high quality signal for all the images, one third of the energy consumption is minimized, there is no requirement of changing the bulb, is environmental friendly, and most importantly the luminance of the LED is more than 41% than other products.
  • The use of telescopic loupes commonly known as headlights in general surgery has only become prevalent in the last two decades according to research. In a 2005 lighting and visualization survey, only 16% of general surgeons stated that they always used a headlight.
  • In the modern world, The newest method used in operating rooms for getting the best lighting results when dealing with open surgeries is in-cavity lightning. It was introduced in the early 2000s due to the ever-evolving surgical techniques as well as different scope procedures used for diagnosing patients, and it includes LED lights during surgery, different probes, and even microchips.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In order to be able to provide a full overview of the different lighting aspects and their introduction into the surgical operating room, our research team first defined which different lighting aspects exist currently and are considered to be relevant. Surgical lighting mainly consists of classic surgical lights, which can be ceiling-mounted, on a floor stand, or wall-mounted. Additionally, three of the most prevalent methods when it comes to surgical lighting are overhead/operating lights (as part of the category of classic surgical lights), headlamps or illuminated lopes, and in-cavity lighting.
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