Virtual reality in rhinology--a new dimension of clinical experience | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Virtual reality in rhinology--a new dimension of clinical experience

| Reprints
July 18, 2016
by Ivica Klapan, PhD, MD; Pero Raos, PhD, MEng; Tomislav Galeta, PhD, MEng; Goranka Kubat, MD


There is often a need to more precisely identify the extent of pathology and the fine elements of intracranial anatomic features during the diagnostic process and during many operations in the nose, sinus, orbit, and skull base region. In two case reports, we describe the methods used in the diagnostic workup and surgical therapy in the nose and paranasal sinus region. Besides baseline x-ray, multislice computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, operative field imaging was performed via a rapid prototyping model, virtual endoscopy, and 3-D imaging. Different head tissues were visualized in different colors, showing their anatomic interrelations and the extent of pathologic tissue within the operative field. This approach has not yet been used as a standard preoperative or intraoperative procedure in otorhinolaryngology. In this way, we tried to understand the new, visualized “world of anatomic relations within the patient's head” by creating an impression of perception (virtual perception) of the given position of all elements in a particular anatomic region of the head, which does not exist in the real world (virtual world). This approach was aimed at upgrading the diagnostic workup and surgical therapy by ensuring a faster, safer and, above all, simpler operative procedure. In conclusion, any ENT specialist can provide virtual reality support in implementing surgical procedures, with additional control of risks and within the limits of normal tissue, without additional trauma to the surrounding tissue in the anatomic region. At the same time, the virtual reality support provides an impression of the virtual world as the specialist navigates through it and manipulates virtual objects.

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