A plastic surgery research group in Japan has developed an augmented reality (AR) system that enables surgeons to create 3D simulations of the desired outcomes of facial reconstructive procedures and project them over a patient’s face during surgery. Details of their simulations were published in August in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery—Global.
Koichi Ueda, MD, PhD, a professor of surgery in the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Osaka Medical College in Japan, and colleagues developed an AR system to evaluate improvements of the body surface. Through their initial experience with eight cases, the researchers concluded that the software could be a useful guide to planning, performing, and evaluating the results of facial reconstruction.
The team used a high-definition digital camera to capture 3D images of the facial surface and CT scans to obtain digital information on the underlying facial bones for each patient. These digital data were then manipulated to create 3D simulations of the ideal final results. For example, in a patient with a fractured cheekbone, the reconstruction was simulated by obtaining and reversing an image of the opposite, uninjured bone.