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Why are surgical lamps different from traditional lights?

Time:2022-01-30

Have you ever wondered what’s so special about operating lights? Why can’t traditional lamps be used in surgery?

To understand what makes a surgical lamp different from a traditional lamp, you should know the following:

Traditional lighting and color temperature, Heat and shadow issues:

Traditional lamps do not produce very high “whiteness” characteristics. Surgeons rely on the “whiteness” of lights to see clearly during surgery. Ordinary light does not produce enough “whiteness” for surgeons. That’s why halogen bulbs have been used for years, because they give off a higher whiteness than incandescent or conventional bulbs.

Why are light colors and “whiteness” important

Surgeons need to distinguish between different shades of flesh when performing surgery, and light with red, blue or green hues can be misleading and alter the appearance of patient tissue. Being able to see skin color clearly is critical to their work and patient safety. This is called color temperature and is measured in kelvin.

Light color temperature:

Color temperature indicates how the light is displayed. The lower the Kelvin, the more yellow the light appears. This is often referred to as “warm white”. At the other end of the spectrum is the whiter light colour of “daylight”.

Heat and radiation:

Another effect that traditional lights can have is heat. When light is focused on an area for a long period of time (usually when a major operation is required), the light produces thermal radiation heat that dries out the exposed tissue.

Light:

Shadows are another thing that interferes with the perception and accuracy of the surgeon during surgery. There are outline shadows and contrast shadows. Contour shadows are a good thing. They help surgeons distinguish between different tissues and changes. Contrast shadows, on the other hand, can cause problems and hinder the surgeon’s vision.

Eliminating contrast shadows is why surgical lamps often have double or triple caps and multiple bulbs on each cap, allowing the light to shine from different angles.

Final thoughts on surgical lamp versus traditional lamp

Surgical lamps have unique requirements that ordinary lamps cannot provide. Headlights, floodlights and retail lights provide a lot of light, but not the quality of light the surgeon needs.

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