Researchers from Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) and Stanford University have developed a virtual reality (VR) simulator for endoscopic sinus surgery, the hospital said.
|Professor Won Tae-bin|
Endoscopic surgery is one of the significant minimal invasive operations done in the field of otolaryngology as it reduces both the recovery time and pain compared to an incision surgery. Recently, the surgery has expanded its area of application to treating nasal tumors and cranial diseases.
However, sinuses are very complex and close to essential tissues such as the eye, brain basal, and internal carotid arteries. Since an erroneous surgery can cause severe aftereffects, it is critical to understand the anatomy of the patient. Also, during a real-life procedure, an endoscopic surgery reduces the stereoscopic effect and realism of the image as the doctors can only see the operation through a monitor.
In developing the simulator, the research team collected high-resolution CT images of an actual patient and computerized the pictures to describe lesion exposure, anatomical feature and lesion location accurately.
The researchers reported that a similar rehearsal was possible in 10 patients with various lesions, such as sinusitis, nasal tumors, and craniopharyngioma when comparing simulated surgery with actual surgery.
“The development of this patient-specific simulator has enabled the rehearsal of complex sinus endoscopic surgery,” said Professor Won Tae-bin from the department of otolaryngology at SNUH. “The new VR simulator will reduce surgical complications and minimize any adverse effects to help patient safety, as well as medical staff training.”
SNUH plans to expand the VR training from the current sinus reoperation and nasal tumor patient to all endoscopic sinus surgeries.
The results of the study were published as the cover research in the latest issue of the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, an international journal related to allergy and otorhinolaryngology.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>