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Mastering DIY Surgical Video: Best Practices and Techniques

DIY High-Quality Surgical Video

Surgical videos are becoming increasingly popular as a resource for education, assessment, coaching, and collaboration. The demand and benefits of high-quality surgical videos continue to rise, and with the ease of capturing video both inside and outside the operating room, utilizing relatively inexpensive consumer-based equipment, DIY but professional quality medical videos can be produced for almost any sharing situation from a large screen at a conference to Zoom meetings and even vertical social content.

Optimizing Surgical Filming

The first step in producing high-quality surgical videos is optimizing filming. The best camera choices for capturing 4K or even better video are the ones that you probably already have in your home: a smartphone and a GoPro camera.

Smartphone Video

Smartphones are cost-effective, easy to use, and capable of recording high-definition video. The iPhone seven or newer versions, as well asmost current Android smartphones, are capable of shooting in 4K and generally have sufficient battery life and memory for lengthy videos in the operating room. Smartphones can be held, used with a gimbal to minimize motion, or even mounted inside the helmet. Advances in modern smartphone technology have significantly improved autofocus, digital zoom, and camera stabilization capabilities, making it easier than ever to capture 4K surgical video with your smartphone despite the movement and lighting challenges of the operating room.

>READ MORE: Smartphone Setting + Accessories for the Operating Room

GoPro Video

GoPro cameras are equally capable of capturing high-quality surgical video, and with many of the recent stabilization, zoom, and autofocus improvements, some prefer using GoPro cameras as they are smaller and lighter, making them easier to mount and less noticeable when used with wearable mounting devices.

>READ MORE: GoPro Settings + Accessories for the Operating Room

Optimizing Surgical Video Editing

The second step and equally important is editing the raw video. While video editing has a slightly higher learning curve, it can make a huge difference in the quality of your final product. Understanding the capabilities and options available during the editing process can be beneficial if you're interested in taking on some of those video editing tasks.

There are various options available for editing software, and it is essential to choose the right one that suits your needs. Some of the top choices for editing software include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie. Additional tools like RunwayML and Envato may save you time and some headaches through the editing process.

>READ MORE: 7 AI-enabled Video Editing Tools


Surgical video use and adoption continue to increase and can be leveraged to improve patient care, surgical education, as well as formal presentations and patient education. By optimizing the filming and editing of your surgical videos, you can produce professional quality videos that are a valuable resource for you and your team without a $50,000operating room camera setup or large video production team. Remember, to check below for the best smartphone and GoPro settings, mounting options, and other tips, and don't hesitate to reach out for help or share your tips.



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Cory Calendine, MD is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and founding partner of the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee at Williamson County Hospital in Franklin, TN. Dr. Calendine is an expert in Joint Replacement, specializing in Hip and Knee Surgery. From diagnosis through treatment, the Orthopaedic Surgical experts at the Bone and Joint Institute use the latest techniques and technology to improve care for people with musculoskeletal problems. For more information, please contact our office or schedule your appointment today.  

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