ClipAssistNet: bringing real-time safety feedback to operating rooms

Aspart, Florian; Bolmgren, Jon L.; Lavanchy, Joël L.; Beldi, Guido; Woods, Michael S.; Padoy, Nicolas; Hosgor, Enes (2022). ClipAssistNet: bringing real-time safety feedback to operating rooms. International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, 17(1), pp. 5-13. Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s11548-021-02441-x

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Purpose: Cholecystectomy is one of the most common laparoscopic procedures. A critical phase of laparoscopic cholecystectomy consists in clipping the cystic duct and artery before cutting them. Surgeons can improve the clipping safety by ensuring full visibility of the clipper, while enclosing the artery or the duct with the clip applier jaws. This can prevent unintentional interaction with neighboring tissues or clip misplacement. In this article, we present a novel real-time feedback to ensure safe visibility of the instrument during this critical phase. This feedback incites surgeons to keep the tip of their clip applier visible while operating.

Methods: We present a new dataset of 300 laparoscopic cholecystectomy videos with frame-wise annotation of clipper tip visibility. We further present ClipAssistNet, a neural network-based image classifier which detects the clipper tip visibility in single frames. ClipAssistNet ensembles predictions from 5 neural networks trained on different subsets of the dataset.

Results: Our model learns to classify the clipper tip visibility by detecting its presence in the image. Measured on a separate test set, ClipAssistNet classifies the clipper tip visibility with an AUROC of 0.9107, and 66.15% specificity at 95% sensitivity. Additionally, it can perform real-time inference (16 FPS) on an embedded computing board; this enables its deployment in operating room settings.

Conclusion: This work presents a new application of computer-assisted surgery for laparoscopic cholecystectomy, namely real-time feedback on adequate visibility of the clip applier. We believe this feedback can increase surgeons' attentiveness when departing from safe visibility during the critical clipping of the cystic duct and artery.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine > Visceral Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Lavanchy, Joël Lukas, Beldi, Guido


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Joël Lukas Lavanchy

Date Deposited:

23 Aug 2021 14:18

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:52

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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