Virtual surgery shows promise in personalized treatment of nasal obstruction

A preliminary report suggests that virtual nasal surgery has the potential to be a productive tool that may enable surgeons to perform personalized nasal surgery using computer simulation techniques, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the September print issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nasal obstruction is usually caused by a deviated septum (a condition in which the partition between the two sides of the nose is off-center or crooked, making breathing difficult), or by enlarged tissues (turbinates) within the nose. Two surgical procedures commonly performed by otolaryngologists are septoplasty (an operation to correct the deformity in the septum) and turbinate surgery.

"With the availability of powerful bioengineering computer-aided design software, anatomically accurate three-dimensional (3D) computational models can now be generated from computed tomography (CT) or (MRI) data," the authors write as background information in the article. "Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software can be used to analyze these models and calculate various anatomic and physiologic measures including nasal airflow, resistance, air conditioning, and wall shear stress."

John S. Rhee, M.D., M.P.H., of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues evaluated whether virtual surgery performed on three-dimensional nasal airway models can predict post-surgical biophysical parameters obtained by . The researchers used pre- and post-surgery CT scans of a patient undergoing septoplasty and right inferior turbinate reduction (ITR) to generate 3D models of the nasal airway.

"Overall, the virtual surgery results are promising and demonstrate the potential of CFD techniques to predict post-surgical outcomes," the authors report. "The CFD calculations of overall nasal resistance for the combined virtual septoplasty with ITR model correlated well with the actual post-surgery calculations."

"As we look to the future, the hope is that this technology can be more routinely used day to day in the armamentarium [the medicines, equipment, and techniques available to a medical practitioner] of otolaryngologists and facial plastic surgeons," the authors conclude. "At this time, CFD technology is truly translational in nature and will require further research and development to reach its full potential for future applications."

More information: Arch Facial Plastic Surg. Published online April 18, 2011. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2011.18

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nasal surgery helps transsexuals

Sep 20, 2007

British scientists say transsexuals undergoing male-to-female gender reassignment report satisfaction with surgery to create a more feminine-appearing nose.

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

Jul 30, 2014

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

Jul 30, 2014

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Jul 29, 2014

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments