AR for extremity reconstruction surgery using 3D vascular models with perforating vessels


Open Access article Through the HoloLens™ looking glass: augmented reality for extremity reconstruction surgery using 3D vascular models with perforating vessels by Pratt et al. in European Radiology Experimental 2018 2:2.

Workflow diagram showing the processes involved in AR content productio


Precision and planning are key to reconstructive surgery. Augmented reality (AR) can bring the information within preoperative computed tomography angiography (CTA) imaging to life, allowing the surgeon to ‘see through’ the patient’s skin and appreciate the underlying anatomy without making a single incision. This work has demonstrated that AR can assist the accurate identification, dissection and execution of vascular pedunculated flaps during reconstructive surgery. Separate volumes of osseous, vascular, skin, soft tissue structures and relevant vascular perforators were delineated from preoperative CTA scans to generate three-dimensional images using two complementary segmentation software packages. These were converted to polygonal models and rendered by means of a custom application within the HoloLens™ stereo head-mounted display. Intraoperatively, the models were registered manually to their respective subjects by the operating surgeon using a combination of tracked hand gestures and voice commands; AR was used to aid navigation and accurate dissection. Identification of the subsurface location of vascular perforators through AR overlay was compared to the positions obtained by audible Doppler ultrasound. Through a preliminary HoloLens-assisted case series, the operating surgeon was able to demonstrate precise and efficient localisation of perforating vessels.

a. Case 5 CTA imaging showing the location of perforating arteries with yellow arrows. b. Case 2 example HoloLens rendering of segmented polygonal models

Read also the detailed news at Imperial College London.

AR system lets doctors see under patients’ skin without the scalpel

New technology is bringing the power of augmented reality into clinical practice.

The system, called ProjectDR, allows medical images such as CT scans and MRI data to be displayed directly on a patient’s body in a way that moves as the patient does.

“We wanted to create a system that would show clinicians a patient’s internal anatomy within the context of the body,” explained Ian Watts, a computing science graduate student and the developer of ProjectDR.

The technology includes a motion-tracking system using infrared cameras and markers on the patient’s body, as well as a projector to display the images. But the really difficult part, Watts explained, is having the image track properly on the patient’s body even as they shift and move. The solution: custom software written by Watts that gets all of the components working together.

ProjectDR was presented last November at the Virtual Reality Software and Technology Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Read more at University of Alberta.