We’ve heard about imaging software being used to show patients what they might look like after surgery, but combining simulation techniques with sophisticated computational software may take virtual surgery to the next level of accuracy and prediction.
Recently published online, ahead of the print edition of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, a preliminary study says that virtual surgery of 3D nasal airway models using computational fluid dynamics (or software used to measure nasal airflow, resistance, wall shear stress, etc-) could help not only predict the final outcome but also aid in customizing nasal surgery for each individual. The study examined a patient undergoing septoplasty (procedure done to straighten the nasal septum) and right inferior turbinate reduction. Using CT scans of a patient both pre- and post-surgery, the researchers generated accurate digital 3D models and found that the CFD calculations for the virtual surgery closely matched the actual ones after surgery.
Currently, “the workflow to create computational models and run various simulations is very time consuming and requires a level of technical expertise- As we look to the future, the hope is that this technology can be more routinely used day to day-” say the researchers, who admit more research and development of this technology is required. Would a simulated surgery make you feel more confident about the final outcome?
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