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The Image-Guided Surgery group at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), headed by Dr. Vahrmeijer focuses on safe and efficient clinical translation of image guided surgery applications to improve personalized clinical practice and enhance patient outcome.

The wide introduction of safe and efficient image guided surgery applications will bring surgery to the next level. Visualizing structures and lesion, which were otherwise invisible, making surgery more effective. Recognizing, otherwise undetectable lesions, will result in earlier disease recognition compared to conventional techniques.

Benefit for patients

Patient in bed met tabletMore personalized precision surgery will make surgery safer, as tumour tissue can be resected more accurately and radically, whilst minimizing damage of healthy tissue, reducing post-surgical morbidity.
In the case of rectal cancer patients who show a cCR, surveillance will become more effective, allowing more patients to avoid surgery (according to the Watch & Wait approach).  Especially, the elderly may benefit from abandoning surgery as they are prone to experiencing the side effects of for instance pelvic surgery. Accurate less invasive precise surgery using real-time NIR diagnostic tools may prevent morbidity e.g. damage to delicate vital structures (leading to pelvic organ dysfunction such as urine and fecal incontinence and sexual dysfunction). In short, implementation of efficient  image guided surgery applications will not only enhance surgical procedures but also increases Quality of Life of patients significantly.

Benefit for probe and camera developers

We offer a unique combination of extensive expertise and research infrastructure to companies who are developing near fluorescent probes for targeting to specific structures. At any point in the development trajectory we can offer our services for a fast, high quality translation from preclinical validation to human studies.

Benefit for surgeons

The value of this approach is particularly evident in minimally invasive surgery, in which the surgeon operates through a small incision using a laparoscope and specialised instruments. The surgeon cannot rely on touch to distinguish between the tumour and healthy tissue. Using a fluorescent label can help the surgeon get back in touch and operate with more confidence around delicate structures. See also 'Education''.

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Benefit for PhD students

We embrace opportunities for scientific advancement and we actively search for grants and collaboration opportunities to accommodate a wide variety of research projects for PhD-students. See for more under 'Education'.