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Virtual nasal surgery holds potential

Article-Virtual nasal surgery holds potential

Milwaukee — Virtual nasal surgery could be a viable tool in enabling surgeons to perform personalized nasal surgery using computer simulation techniques, reports.

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, here, evaluated whether virtual surgery performed on three-dimensional nasal airway models can predict postsurgical biophysical parameters obtained by computational fluid dynamics.

Investigators used pre- and postsurgery computed tomography (CT) scans of a patient undergoing septoplasty and right inferior turbinate reduction to generate 3-D models of the nasal airway. In a preliminary report posted on the online Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, the authors note that state-of-the-art bioengineering computer-aided design software makes it possible for anatomically accurate 3-D computational models to be generated from data from CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software can then be used to analyze those models and calculate various anatomic and physiologic measures, including nasal airflow, resistance, air conditioning and wall shear stress.

“Overall, the virtual surgery results are promising and demonstrate the potential of CFD techniques to predict postsurgical outcomes,” the authors wrote. “As we look to the future, the hope is that this technology can be more routinely used day-to-day in the armamentarium of otolaryngologists and facial plastic surgeons.”

The authors concluded that CFD technology “is truly translational in nature” and that more research is necessary before the technology can be commonly used in this kind of application.

The full study is scheduled to appear in the September print issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

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