The planning of a surgery with 3D models offers considerable advantages over the 2D images, which have been widely used so far. Surgeons gain a much more realistic overview of the area in which they want to perform a surgery. This enables them to precisely prepare the individual steps. Parallel to the 3D computer models, VIVATOP is also testing the provision of lifelike physical models of the affected organ. This involves importing the image data into a 3D printer so that, for example, a patient’s liver can be reproduced realistically.
These 3D printed models enable the physician to haptically experience the individual organ during surgical preparation. This sense of touch can also be combined with the virtual models. Thereby, the physical 3D printed model can be presented by holding it in the hands and gesticulating in an explanatory manner, while all participants can follow the gestures in connection with the highly detailed computer model on their VR glasses. Preparing for a surgical procedure with this method, reflects the familiarized surgical movements of a physician more realistically than by using controllers, such as those used in game consoles.
Furthermore, the 3D printed models not only simplify the preparation of a surgery, but also enable the medical team to explain the procedure to the patients more clearly.