Tilt Table for Veterinary Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Surgery

This is a project that has been ‘in the works’ for a few months.  The thought started through my residency at the University of Guelph veterinary school, where we are doing increasing number of laparoscopic (keyhole) surgeries.  Having a table that allows us to tilt a patient side to side and end to end would let the organs move around inside the abdomen, allowing us to see where we need to work better.  Traditionally this is done by putting sandbags under the patient; but this is very cumbersome and difficult to finely adjust.  Also, being a taller person, I found that sometimes the table couldn’t go high enough, and hunching over all day is no fun!  I started looking at what commercial products are available, but most of them didn’t do quite what I wanted, and/or cost far more $$$ that I had.  I started drawing up my own designs, and made some super rough models out of wood scraps, and finally though I had a good design.

I mostly used the welder at DIYode, but also many of the metal shop tools; the drill press, grinder and such, and also the metal lathe (with much appreciated help from more experienced hands than I have – thanks Brennan) to make all the metal parts, and the plastic bushings and such I needed for all the pivots.  It took a bit of scrounging; the casters, linear actuators, stainless steel feet, polycarbonte and polyethylene sheets for the table surface and electrical boxes all came from various people off of kijiji; the power supply, switches, bolts and steel was bought new.  The only work outsourced was getting a nice powder coating done on the final assembled pieces.  The table is now all assembled, and works like a charm.  I expect it will help save my back from hunching, and make my life easier doing surgery for years to come.  Thanks to everyone at DIYode for developing the facility and giving me the help I needed to get this project done!

Here is a video link to the finished, working table:  https://youtu.be/FwrDHRp3vbw

-Evan Crawford

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