A surgeon performing simulated surgery on an advanced 3D sinus model.
A surgeon performing simulated surgery on an advanced 3D sinus model.
Source: Mark Roe, Fusetec.

Advanced tech enables simulated sinus surgery

The world’s first international online training session utilizing advanced 3D sinus models and a telemedicine system has taken place, highlighting a new mode of medical training in Covid-19 era.

Instructed by world-class surgeons at the University of Adelaide in Australia, three surgeons at Hokkaido University in Japan performed simulated endoscopic sinus surgeries in the training program utilizing a telemedicine system. The two-day training session, held on 11th and 12th February, was simultaneously broadcasted worldwide to more than two hundred registrants from eleven countries and regions.

“This real-time online training is extremely valuable, as travel to attend on-site training is restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic,” says Assistant Professor Masanobu Suzuki at Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Medicine, who coordinated the program. The university’s team was led by Professor Akihiro Homma and Associate Professor Yuji Nakamaru of the same department.

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a standard procedure to remove blockages and open pathways in people’s sinuses. But without an accurate understanding of human anatomy or mastery of the relevant procedures, it can cause serious complications in the brain and eyes.

The training program involved simulated operations performed on 3D sinus models with varying difficulties. Using a telemedicine system, Professor Peter-John Wormald and Professor Alkis Psaltis, both world-class surgeons at the University of Adelaide, viewed real-time endoscopic images of the surgeries at a distance of 8,000 kilometers; they provided instructions to the three surgeons, while other specialists around the world watched online.

After 15 hours of highly detailed training in advanced surgical procedures, the three surgeons are now able to perform challenging frontal sinus surgeries with high precision.

Elaborate 3D sinus models made with advanced additive manufacturing technology.
Elaborate 3D sinus models made with advanced additive manufacturing technology.
Source: Mark Roe, Fusetec.

The 3D models were made with advanced additive manufacturing technology using patients’ CT sinus scan data by the team at the University of Adelaide, in collaboration with Adelaide-based company Fusetec. Professor Alkis Psaltis of the University of Adelaide explained, “The high-class materials used in the production give an almost human tissue feel.”

Unlike conventional sinus models made with hard plaster, the 3D models are made with multiple materials to reproduce the exact shape of the sinus and the tissue feel of human bodies as closely as possible. This enables simulated surgeries to be performed in a way that is very similar to actual operations. “Some online observers had forgotten that they were models while watching the course,” according to Assistant Professor Masanobu Suzuki.

The remote training employed the Quintree telemedicine system developed by Quintree Medical, which was founded by otolaryngologists in Michigan, USA; one of the co-founders, Oakland University’s Professor Adam Folbe also supported the training program. With the system, many surgeons can simultaneously participate in a single training session, and instructors can guide each surgeon while checking endoscopic images on a single screen.

The online training system requires only 3D models, surgical instruments, PCs, and an Internet connection. “The system could replace, at least in part, conventional on-site training using donated bodies or cadavers. Moreover, it is expected to expand worldwide not only in the field of otolaryngology but also in endoscopic surgery in general,” commented Assistant Professor Masanobu Suzuki.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related articles

3D printed knee implant for arthritis sufferers

3D printed knee implant for arthritis sufferers

A groundbreaking new treatment that uses 3D printed implants and that could bring relief to tens of thousands of knee osteoarthritis sufferers has received approval to be trialled in UK patients.

Medical customers adopt Stratasys 3D Printer

Medical customers adopt Stratasys 3D Printer

Stratasys Ltd. announced it has successfully sold and installed the J750 Digital Anatomy 3D printer at healthcare institutions and medical service providers in major markets across the globe.

Endoscopic prostate surgery performed on human-like phantom

Endoscopic prostate surgery performed on human-like phantom

Scientists have made a decisive contribution to improving complex surgical training by developing a very realistic prostate phantom.

3D printing dissolvable medical implants

3D printing dissolvable medical implants

A scientist has created dissolvable medical implants that can be tailored to different patients and purposes.

Kickballs, chicken and 3D models help prepare for fetal surgeries

Kickballs, chicken and 3D models help prepare for fetal surgeries

By combining high-tech 3D printing technology with kickball and pieces of chicken breast, surgeons have devised an innovative way to “rehearse” complex minimally invasive fetal surgeries.

Research programme to bioprint ear and noses launched

Research programme to bioprint ear and noses launched

The Scar Free Foundation has launched a research programme that aims to revolutionise surgeons’ ability to reconstruct nose and ear cartilage in patients affected by facial difference.

A 3D printed multifunctional pressure sensor

A 3D printed multifunctional pressure sensor

The 3D printed pressure sensor embedded with a temperature sensor is low-cost and scalable to large-scale production of smart robotic systems.

Hip implant simulator for virtual surgery training

Hip implant simulator for virtual surgery training

The team of the Dynamic HIPS are working on a hip replacement simulator that will help future surgeons to practice the intervention and develop a reality-based feeling for the procedure.

3D printing programmable structures from the printer

3D printing programmable structures from the printer

Researchers have developed a new process for producing movable, self-adjusting materials systems with standard 3D-printers.

Popular articles

Subscribe to Newsletter