How to Make a High-Quality Cardiac Surgery Video
Operative videos are becoming increasingly common on many platforms, yet the quality of these videos in the field of cardiac surgery has room for improvement. Many surgical fields have shifted to video-based surgery platforms such as thoracoscopy and laparoscopy, which allow for inherently high-quality surgical videos. Yet most cardiac operations are still performed using open techniques; thus, video feeds are not utilized. Consequently, filming cardiac operations has inherent challenges. This video describes strategies for obtaining high-quality footage of cardiac operations.
To obtain the best footage, it is important to assign a dedicated videographer during the operation. This can be a medical student or research fellow, but they must familiarize themselves with the video equipment well before the start of the operation. There are many camera options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The videographer should be aware of each camera’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor their camera of choice to what is most appropriate for the planned operation. It is also essential that the videographer understands the purpose of the video (e.g., summary of entire operation vs. highlighting a specific step) and the critical steps of the operation. This may require a brief meeting with either the surgeon or the resident assigned to the case prior to the operation.
On the day of the operation the videographer should show up early, prior to the patient’s arrival in the operating room. This allows them to ensure the equipment is available and functioning properly. This is also an opportune time to white balance and focus the cameras. Like surgery, high quality videos require team buy-in. If members of the operative team are unwilling to accept occasional interruptions or intrusion by video equipment, the videographer will be unable to produce high-quality footage. During the operation, the videographer should constantly monitor the video feeds and make necessary adjustments to optimize the field of view. If a single step in the operation is the focus of the video, a brief pause prior to that step to adjust the field of view is recommended. Lines of communication between the videographer and the operative team must remain open during the operation, although the videographer should strive to minimize disruptions.
At the conclusion of the operation, video footage should be exported to a secure device for editing. There are many video editing platforms available. The best options are user friendly and allow adjustment of video speed, stabilization, and the addition of voiceovers. When editing, the final product should be complete yet concise and focus on the aim of the video. If the aim is to teach residents how to create an anastomosis, the video should include considerations for each suture throw, but if an anastomosis is just one part of an entire operation, then a brief clip is sufficient. Additional considerations during editing are described in the video above.