The VOXEL-MAN TempoSurg simulator for petrous bone surgery is a unique tool for training of surgical access to the middle ear. The system is based on a selection of three-dimensional models of the skull base derived from high-resolution CT data.

The trainee sees the scene displayed in stereoscopic mode through a mirror and controls the drill with a force feedback device (fig. 1). Thus the simulated procedure becomes nearly identical to the real one concerning the patient's orientation, the surgeon's viewing direction and hand orientation. The force feedback device provides a haptic feeling close to the real procedure.
 

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Fig. 1. View of VOXEL-MAN TempoSurg. Using the force feedback device located underneath the mirror, the drill may be freely moved within the operating field.

Besides a view of the operating field, the user interface provides an overview image and three orthogonal CT slices, which give a comprehensive view of the involved anatomy (fig. 2). Organs at risk such as ossicles or blood vessels are highlighted. Of course, all additional information not available in a real surgery may also be switched off. The user interface allows to select various parameters such as view angle, magnification, or resolution. Using a foot pedal, type and size of the drill as well as rotation speed may be controlled.

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Fig. 2. Part of the user interface of VOXEL-MAN TempoSurg. The main window displays the operating field with the patient in a lying position. In this case, access to the middle ear is almost completely prepared. The position of the drill may also be controlled using the overview image (below) or additional CT slices.

Compared to classical methods, education using VOXEL-MAN TempoSurg provides a number of major advantages:

  • Training with different normal and pathological cases
  • Different skills levels make the system suitable for beginners and advanced users alike
  • Drilling is recorded - thus the session may be continued, corrected, or reviewed at any later time
  • Results of different users become comparable
  • Lower investment in a bone drilling lab
  • Self-study is possible
  • Unlimited repeatability of the procedure
  • Substantial reduction of cadaveric material
  • System may be used by many users, which provides an optimal utilization

More information is available at www.voxel-man.com
© 2006 VOXEL-MAN Group, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

 

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