Get access

Comparison of traditional 2-dimensional endoscopic pituitary surgery with new 3-dimensional endoscopic technology: intraoperative and early postoperative factors


  • Potential conflict of interest: Assistance with production of 3-dimensional images has been provided by Visionsense, Inc. None of the authors have a personal financial relationship with Visionsense, Inc.

  • Editorial note: 3D images may be viewed with the disposable lenses provided in this issue of the journal. Please note that due to variations in color image production, print quality of 3D images may vary.



Traditionally, endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary surgery is performed using 2-dimensional (2D) endoscopes, which lack depth of field and contribute to image distortion. Recently, a new generation of 3D endoscopes has been introduced for improved endoscopic depth perception. Little data exist comparing surgical outcomes with 2D vs 3D endoscopic systems. This study examines perioperative and postoperative factors in patients undergoing pituitary surgery using 2D vs 3D endoscopes. The objective of this work was to determine the differences in perioperative and postoperative factors in patients undergoing pituitary surgery using 2D vs 3D endoscopy.


Retrospective chart review at a tertiary academic referral center. Statistical comparison was undertaken for perioperative (estimated blood loss, operative time) and postoperative factors (length of stay, complications, and readmission rate).


A total of 58 patients underwent endoscopic pituitary surgery during the 24-month study period (22 functional, 36 nonfunctional lesions). The 2D endoscopic system was used for pituitary tumor resection in 32 patients (55%), and the 3D endoscopic system in 26 patients (45%). No significant difference existed between 2D and 3D endoscopic systems for operative time (p = 0.275) or estimated blood loss (p = 0.312). Additionally, no difference was found between groups for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak rate (p = 0.581), postoperative endocrine complications (p = 0.081), length of hospital stay (p = 0.934), or hospital readmission rate (p = 1.0).


3D endoscopy affords the surgeon improved depth of field and stereoscopic vision. Our data demonstrate that 3D endoscopy does not result in significantly different perioperative or postoperative outcomes vs 2D endoscopic surgery. © 2011 ARS-AAOA, LLC.