Crafting Clear and Engaging Narration for Surgical Educational Content

Crafting Clear and Engaging Narration for Surgical Educational Content

A clear and audible narration is a powerful element that enhances the educational value of video content. This step-by-step guide explores how to record an effective voiceover for your surgical video, ensuring clarity and engagement.

 Crafting Your Narration Script 

  1. Prepare Your Script:
    Begin by drafting a clear and concise script that complements your surgical video. Consider the video’s duration and aim for brevity while conveying essential information. 
  1. Synchronization:
    Watch the video as you write your script to synchronize your narration with the visuals. Keep in mind that surgical videos are short-format, so every word matters. 
  1. Journalistic Style:
    Use straightforward, journalistic-style writing with short sentences. Focus on subject-verb-complement structures to enhance clarity. 
  1. Read Aloud:
    Read your script aloud as you write it to ensure it’s easy to understand and adjust it as needed.

Recording Your Voice Over

  1. Quiet Environment:
    Record in a quiet space free of background noise. 
  1. Acoustics:
    Opt for an echo-free environment or add soft furnishings like carpets and cushions to control acoustics. 
  1. Clear Articulation:
    Speak clearly and at a moderate pace with well-placed accents and pauses to aid understanding and maintain audience interest.
  1. Voice Quality:
    Maintain a consistent volume and pitch, avoiding vocal monotony, and varying intonation to keep the audience engaged.
  1. Synchronization:
    Ensure that narration timing matches the actions in the surgical video for better comprehension. 
  1. Correction:
    If you make a mistake, pause, and start again rather than stopping the recording. Consistency in recording conditions is crucial.

Recording Options:
Consider various recording equipment options, including mobile phones, computers, and external microphones. Mobile phones are convenient, but external microphones can offer improved audio quality and control. 

Editing Your Audio Track

 After recording, you’ll need to edit the audio track to align it with your surgical video. 

  1. Audio Editing Software:
    Utilize audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition. Audacity is beginner-friendly and offers basic editing features, while Adobe Audition provides advanced capabilities for professional results.
  1. Adjust Volume Levels:
    Ensure consistent audio volume throughout the narration.
  1. Remove White Noise or Pops:
    Eliminate any distracting background noise or pops that might disrupt the listening experience.
  1. Edit Silences to Match Video Timing:
    Ensure that pauses in your narration align with the surgical video’s pacing.
  1. Trim Missed Passages and Distractions:
    Remove any parts of the narration where you misspeak or get distracted.
  1. Enhance Transitions and Pacing:
    Smoothly transition between different segments of your narration to maintain a coherent flow.
  1. Divide the Audio into Chapters or Sequences if Applicable:
    If your surgical video has distinct sections, consider dividing the audio accordingly.
  1. Export your audio
    Choose a format suitable for video editing, such as WAV or FLAC. Ensure that the export settings prioritize audio quality. Aim for a sample rate of 48 kHz and a bit depth of 16 or 24 bits.
  1. Finalize
    Once editing the voiceover is complete, finalize minor details in the video, such as subtitles, to create an educational surgical production with high added value.

 Recording a compelling voice-over enhances the educational impact of your surgical video, making it a valuable resource for learners in the field of surgery. By following these guidelines, you can create engaging and informative content that truly benefits your audience.

Surgical Video Editing Made Easy: Software and Tools for Beginners

Video produced by Noah Slater, Conrad Murphy and Destiny Chau, MD

Surgical Video Editing Made Easy: Software and Tools for Beginners

Producing engaging educational surgical video content doesn’t require extensive experience or a hefty budget. All it takes is some know-how in selecting the right tools and software to enhance the graphics, sound and overall presentation of your video. 

Step 1: Choosing the Right Software

Selecting video editing software is crucial for creating surgical videos. There are numerous user-friendly options available, catering to different skill levels. As a beginner, consider starting with some choices below before gradually exploring more advanced options as you gain experience:


    • Beginner-friendly, basic editing.
    • Pre-installed on Mac computers.
    • Limited functionality for complex surgical videos.
    • PC alternative: Video Editor (Windows) 


    • Multi-platform editing: desktop, phone, or online.
    • Popular among social media content creators.
    • Simple video effects, filters and audio editing.
    • Available on PC, Mac, Android and iPhone.


    • Completely free and open-source.
    • Supports Linux, Mac, and Windows.
    • Advanced editing, audio and subtitling features.
    • Customizable with user-created modules.

Step 2: Enhancing Graphics and Sound

Aside from video editing, graphics and sound play essential roles in surgical video production. Here’s how you can enhance your videos:

Graphic Design

    • Use PowerPoint, Canva, Photofiltre or free software like GIMP for graphic design.
    • Create images and graphic elements like arrows and lines outside the video editing software.
    • Export graphic elements in .PNG format for transparency
    • Design attractive video thumbnails to engage your audience.

Sound Editing

    • Use a free and powerful sound editing tool like Audacity
    • Record narrations to aid viewer understanding.
    • Clean up and enhance audio quality.
    • Ensure professionalism and credibility through high-quality audio.

Creating surgical videos is an accessible endeavor with the right software and tools. Tailor your choice to your specific needs and gradually explore more advanced options as you gain experience. Remember, the key to success is understanding your audience and delivering informative, engaging content.

How to Record High-Quality Surgical Videos in the Operating Room

How to Record High-Quality Surgical Videos in the Operating Room

When it comes to crafting educational videos, one thing stands out, video acquisition. The reason is clear, there’s no substitute for well-shot footage. No matter how skilled your editing, poor raw material results in lackluster content that goes unnoticed. Here, we’ll guide you through the process, with a focus on filming in the demanding setting of an operating room.

Step 1: Preparation is Key

Before hitting the record button, meticulous preparation is essential, especially in third-person filming scenarios. Ensure an unobstructed view of the surgical field, eliminating shadows and clutter. A clean operating area not only aids clarity but also professionalism. Maintain a centered frame on the surgical procedure and maintain sharp focus throughout the operation.

Step 2: Designate a Camera Operator

During surgery, the surgeon’s focus is solely on the procedure. Assign a dedicated camera operator to manage framing and focus adjustments. This role is best suited for an operating assistant who understands the surgical process and can intervene without disruption.

Step 3: Technical Specifications

For high-quality results, choose Full HD or 4K resolution with an MPEG-4 format and a 5 Mbps bitrate (for Full-HD). Proper input resolution preserves video quality and facilitates editing. If needed, reduce the bitrate during shooting to manage file size without compromising quality.

Step 4: Selecting the Right Equipment

The choice of equipment depends on the type of surgery. For minimally invasive procedures, medical devices like endoscopes or microscopes suffice.

Here are some commonly used endoscopes and microscopes for surgical purposes:


Rigid Endoscopes: Commonly used for orthopedic and laparoscopic procedures.
     •   Brands: Karl Storz, Stryker, Olympus
Flexible Endoscopes: Used for procedures requiring more flexibility, like gastroscopy.
     •   Brands: Olympus, Fujifilm, Pentax
Capsule Endoscopes: Used for visualizing the small intestine.
Brand example: Given Imaging’s PillCam

Surgical Microscopes:

Zeiss OPMI: Commonly used for neurosurgery, spine surgery, and ENT procedures.
Leica M530 OH6: Offers precise detail recognition and optimal view during surgeries, commonly used for neurosurgery.
Mitaka MM51: Used for microsurgical procedures due to its precise optics.

When considering equipment, ensure it’s compatible with any recording devices or systems you intend to use. If in doubt, always consult with the equipment manufacturer or supplier, and if possible, get a demonstration before purchase or use.

Step 5: Front Camera in Surgical Procedures

Using front-facing cameras in surgical procedures offers an unmatched, up-close view of the procedure, often from the surgeon’s perspective. They serve to bridge the gap between textbook learning and hands-on experience by offering an immersive visual experience.


    • Purpose: GoPros, especially the models designed for action capture, are useful for procedures where there’s a lot of movement. They offer stabilization, ensuring the capture remains smooth.
    • Advantages:
      • Stability: Built-in stabilization ensures smooth footage even during dynamic procedures.
      • Wide-Angle Lens: This helps in capturing a broad view of the operation field.
      • Hands-free Operation: Once set, the GoPro can film without any intervention, allowing the surgeon to focus on the procedure.
    • Considerations:
      • Battery Life: Ensure the device is fully charged or has a power backup to last the entire procedure.
      • Sterilization: The camera and its mount should be covered with a sterile barrier to prevent contamination.


    • Purpose: Exoscopes are designed specifically for surgeries, providing a magnified and illuminated view of the operation site. They are becoming an alternative to traditional microscopes in various surgical specialties.
    • Advantages:
      • High-Quality Imaging: Exoscopes produce crisp, high-definition images with excellent depth perception.
      • Zoom Capabilities: Surgeons can zoom in or out as needed without manually adjusting the equipment.
      • Flexibility: They can be easily maneuvered, providing different angles and views.
    • Considerations:
      • Setup: Proper setup is essential to ensure the exoscope’s position doesn’t hinder the surgical team.
      • Sterilization: Given their close proximity to the surgical field, ensuring they are appropriately sterilized is paramount.

The choice between GoPros and exoscopes largely depends on the procedure, desired visual output, and available resources. However, incorporating either into surgical documentation enhances the educational value of the video, offering viewers an in-depth look at the procedure from a firsthand perspective.

Achieving excellence in educational video creation begins with top-notch video acquisition. By following these steps and considering your equipment carefully, you can ensure your educational content is both informative and engaging.

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