a1 School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Flinders University, South Australia, Australia
a2 Flinders ENT, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia
a3 Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Flinders University, South Australia, Australia
Objectives: To develop a virtual-reality subtotal tonsillectomy simulation for surgical training.
Materials and Methods: Computer models of a male patient's head and throat, and the surgical instrument, were created. These models were combined with custom-built simulation software. Recently developed tissue simulation technology that exploits recent developments in programmable graphics processing units was used to model tonsillar tissue in a way that allows surgical interaction whilst providing accurate tactile feedback. Current real-time rendering techniques were used to provide realistic visuals. Iterative refinements were made to the simulation, and in particular the tissue simulation, in consultation with relevantly experienced surgeons.
Results: We have used newly developed tissue simulation technology to developed a novel virtual-reality subtotal tonsillectomy simulation for surgical training, the first of its kind.
Conclusion: Early feedback suggests that this simulator can help surgeons to rapidly acquire subtotal tonsillectomy surgical skills in a risk-free and realistic virtual environment.
(Accepted January 17 2012)
(Online publication March 15 2012)
Presented at Frontiers 2010 – the Art, Science and Future of Otorhinolaryngology, 28 July 2010, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and at the 14th ASEAN ORL Head and Neck Congress 2011, 12 May 2011, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Professor A S Carney takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper
Competing interests: None declared