Ever wondered what that light and telescoping apparatus is that doctors wear during a surgical procedure? Normally, you’ll see lights mounted on the ceiling or on a fixed arm when you enter the operating room but many doctors are already using a type of lighting equipment called a surgical headlight.
What Are Surgical Headlights
Surgical headlights or portable headlamps are a type of equipment that doctors and surgeons wear on their head during a surgical procedure. Some surgical headlights come with a battery pack to power its light bulb while there are surgical headlights that are powered using a fiber cord.
Compared to the traditional lighting equipment, using a cordless headlight during an operation can be an advantage due to its portability. Doctors and surgeons can move around during the procedure without worrying about tripping on wires or having to unplug wires while they’re moving around.
Another advantage when using a surgical headlight during a procedure is the doctor or the surgeon can concentrate the light on the surgical site without worrying about casting shadows. When using a mounted lighting equipment, shadows can be a problem due to the number of hands involved during an operation. According to a study published in the journal Minimally Invasive Therapy & Allied Technologies, surgeons adjust their light equipment every 7.5 minutes and affects 64% of their productivity.
How to Choose Surgical Headlights
If you’re thinking about using or purchasing a surgical headlight, here are some of the features that you need to consider:
It can be a challenge to look for a headlight with the right illumination since the bulbs are configured with the battery pack it came with. Most headlights nowadays use the Light Emitting Diode or LED, although there are headlights that use Xenon or halogen bulbs.
Bulbs are measured using its lux value. Although the higher lux value, the brighter the bulb illuminates, you’ll still need to consider the consequences of using it especially for longer procedures. Eye strain can happen if you stare at the bright light for longer periods of time.
Durability And Comfort
Find a surgeon headlight company that manufactures surgical headlights that are durable and comfortable. However, with so many in the market, you might get confused about which brand to pick. You will have to do more research of different brands and the different features they have.
If possible, you can visit a retailer and inquire if they have surgical headlights. This way, you can try the headlight on and check if it’s comfortable to wear or if it suffices your needs. You can also inquire with the staff about which brands most doctors or surgeons tend to purchase.
Surgical headlights come in two forms: cord or cordless. The cordless ones have a built-in battery pack. It’s crucial for a headlight to have longer battery life since it’ll be an inconvenience to you if you need to constantly charge during an operation.
Another feature you need to consider is the cost. Getting surgical headlights shouldn’t break the bank. With so many surgical headlights in the market today, you need to weigh in both its features and its price.
You also need to consider the warranty of your surgical headlights. Warranties can help you save on maintenance costs, so find out how long you’re covered and what your warranty covers.
Surgical Headlights Vs Traditional Lights
Both lighting equipment have their advantages and disadvantages. One notable disadvantage when using a surgical headlight is when a doctor or a staff member forgets that they’re using a surgical headlight with a cord, they may unintentionally unplug it while they’re moving around. Operating rooms tend to get busy and people are moving so fast that accidental unplugging can happen.
For traditional lighting equipment, one of its notable advantages is illumination. Traditional lighting equipment comes in different configurations and different mount types. Therefore, different light bulbs can be used. The most common ones in the market today are LED, tungsten-halogen, among others.
One notable disadvantage when using the traditional equipment, however, is it needs backup power in case of a power outage. Since this type of equipment relies on electricity, one should prepare a backup to power the lights. Another disadvantage is the maintenance cost. You can save on the cost if the lighting system can be modularly replaced compared to replacing the entire system.
Always remember that adequate lighting is important for a successful operation. Portability and comfort are a few reasons why doctors prefer to use the surgical headlights rather than the traditional one. When looking for the right surgical headlight, make sure to check its illumination level, durability, battery life, and price. These features will help you determine whether or not the surgical headlight is the right fit for your needs.