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Virtual Surgical Planning

Virtual Surgical Planning

On March 22, 2014 Dr. Pravin Patel and Linping Zhao were identified for their use of virtual surgical planning in Crain's Magazine. Click on this link to review the article: 3-D printing is revolutionizing surgery

Three-dimensional (3D) medical Images such as CT and MRI have been available for decades. Their application, however, had been limited to the diagnosis and evaluation of disease. More recently, these digital technologies have emerged as a means of planning complex surgical procedures. This virtual surgical planning (VSP) technology has been integrated with other digital advances such as computer assisted design /computer assisted manufacture (CAD/CAM) technology, and rapid prototyping (RP) technology. Thanks to support from the Face the Future Foundation, the team at The Craniofacial Center is leading the way in this new digital realm and in doing so is improving children's lives.

These advances help our surgical and prosthetic team members to plan surgeries with greater accuracy on the computer before they are actually performed. These virtual surgical simulations allow for more predictable outcomes and allow the patient and their family to better understand the procedures. A typical VSP process includes the use of 3d photography and x-ray scans, the building of composite models, anthropometric analysis, surgical simulation and evaluation. This is particularly beneficial to the patients who have severe craniofacial deformities and undergo complex reconstructive surgery.

As a leader in implementing this VSP technology into our daily practice, The Craniofacial Center is striving to develop even more clinical applications. Protocols for craniofacial surgery and facial and dental implants have already been established and others are under investigation as our team works to merge the latest technologies with patient care for an improved quality of life for each of our patients.