The color of light—the rosy glow of a sunset or the hue from harsh fluorescent lights overhead—affects how we see and interpret situations. It’s especially important that surgeons have light during surgery that shows tissues in the truest way possible. The new LED headlight system from Integra LifeSciences, a company that makes medical devices for surgeons, provides the right brightness and color rendition so surgeons can see the actual color of tissues and fluids, and it’s cooler for both the patient and the doctor.
The device lasts up to 25,000 hours, while the standard xenon lamp only lasts 1,000 hours. “Xenon lamps have to be replaced about once a year, at a cost of about $600,” says Dan Reuvers, president of the instrument division at Integra LifeSciences. Xenon headlights also come with a bulky power source, adding clutter in the operating room.
The LED headlight comes with a wearable battery pack, so surgeons don’t have to be tethered to a power source, but also comes with an optional 20-foot power cord in case the battery is not charged.
Depending on the surgery, the headlight may be worn for hours at a time “so it has to be something [surgeons] almost forget is on,” Reuvers says. A fan draws heat from the light from the front of the head and exhausts it to the back, he says, and the headlight is well-balanced and can be adjusted to a surgeon’s preferred fit. It also works with loupes—the microscope-like glasses that some surgeons wear.
Most people hope to never have a surgeon’s headlight shined on them, but fans of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy might have seen Integra’s LED headlight in action in the show’s operating room.