Prize Research


Left side:Regular View-No Disease Seen

Right Side:new system-disease is dark indigo and bright green


the “firefly effect” Disease glows green!

Prizes Awarded For New “X-Ray Vision” Tumor Surgery Technique

Update: Welcome Instapundit Readers to DITM- Where tomorrow’s technology transforms medicine. This is the first in a series of vision pieces I am writing about the coming radical revolution in surgery. Read more here or listen to podcast on “futurevision” surgery here.


Docinthemachine creator Steven F. Palter, MD, Medical and Scientific Director of Gold Coast IVF, has won First Prize for Technical Achievement in Video for his study of a new laparoscopic technology that can be used to diagnose endometriosis. The prize was awarded today during the 62nd annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) on October 23rd at the New Orleans Convention Center

Gold Coast IVF press release of system and award

The new “keyhole” surgery technique enables surgeons to see tumors and other pathologies, including endometriosis not otherwise visible. In traditional laparoscopy, the telescope provides the same view as would be seen with the naked eye. In the new method, highly specific filters are incorporated into the light system and telescope so that surgeons can see the tiny amounts of fluorescent light that all living human tissues give off when illuminated, a phenomenon called “autofluorescence”.

The system illuminates tissues with short wavelength blue light (380-450 nm). The tissues absorb this light and then release it as longer wavelength green light (>470 nm).

Normal and diseased tissues give off different amounts of light. Areas of disease that block fluorescence are seen as dark indigo areas, whereas those that emit fluorescence glow like a firefly. With this new surgical technique I can see disease that is otherwise invisible and treat the patient more effectively.

My study reported on the use of the autofluorescence system for the diagnosis of endometriosis, a potentially debilitating disease that affects 5.5 million women in the United States, causing infertility and chronic pelvic pain. We found additional disease using the system in 63% of the women with endometriosis examined.

The system, manufactured by Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, is based on technology that has previously been used to detect lung cancer. This study represents its first use for laparoscopic examination of the pelvic and abdominal cavities in the US. It is not yet approved for general use in the US. The next step I have planned are further ther studies to evaluate the system as a potential diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer and its metastases – a silent killer of women.

Related Posts and Videos of System:

Initial post on system with surgical photos

Description of how autofluorescence laparoscopy works

Video of how AF laparoscopy works

Surgical Video of how systems works- fluorescent views

First ever video of the “firefly effect”

Additional intraoperative video fluorescent vs. white light

Another Update: More awards! I am honored to report my follow-up work on this technology has won three additional medical society prizes: First Place at the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS), First Place Best New Instrument Kott award at AAGL, and Golden Laparoscope award at AAGL

Still Another Update- Next Generation: Read more on the augmented abilities of surgeons and the future revolution in surgery here.