AUSTIN -- Imagine doctors performing surgery more quickly and efficiently -- even in areas of the body they could never see before. A new 3-D surgical system has turned that imagination into reality.

Six years ago Mary Layh of New Braunfels weighed 280 pounds. She had a setback after her first bariatric procedure, but she got a second one about two months ago.

"Just to get another lease on life is wonderful," said Layh, holding back tears.

Mary got that new lease on life thanks to some new technology. If it looks like something with light coming from two eyes – well – it is. What looks like eyes are actually two small cameras that help make up the high definition, 3-D surgical video system known as the Olympus EVIS EXERA.

"It almost makes the tissue come alive so to speak," said Sashidhar Ganta, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at St. David's North Austin Medical Center – the only healthcare facility in Austin using the Olympus 3-D system. "It's better than open surgery, because you can see with your own eyes. It's much more magnified, and you see the crisper detail."

The 3-D scope has a flexible tip so it can rotate from zero to 100 degrees, allowing surgeons to now see clearly into corners and other areas previously hard or impossible to see. Just like at home or at the movie theaters – when you look at the screen with naked eye the picture appears blurry, so surgeons put on their 3-D glasses. They can see the picture and the surgery in stunning, 3-D, high definition quality.

"We can see the different planes of anatomy and the different layers of tissue," said Ganta. "We'll know exactly where to go and how to dissect and perform the procedure much easier with a lot more clarity on the screen."

St. David's North Austin Medical Center has been using the Olympus for six months. Mary says thanks to surgery in 3-D, she now has a new *perspective* on life.

"Just the fact that I know that I will be making my goal now and I was given a second chance to be able to get a normal lifestyle and to be active with my grandkids and stuff is just very exciting," she said.

Click here to learn more about the Olympus 3-D surgical system used at St. David's North Austin Medical Center.

Click here to learn more about the bariatric services available at St. David's North Austin Medical Center.