9. Maxillofacial Virtual Surgery from 3-D CT Images

  1. Metin Akay4 and
  2. Andy Marsh5
  1. Alessandro Sarti1,2,
  2. Roberto Gori2,
  3. Alberto Bianchi3,
  4. Claudio Marchetti3 and
  5. Claudio Lamberti2

Published Online: 9 OCT 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471206458.ch9

Information Technologies in Medicine: Rehabilitation and Treatment, Volume II

Information Technologies in Medicine: Rehabilitation and Treatment, Volume II

How to Cite

Sarti, A., Gori, R., Bianchi, A., Marchetti, C. and Lamberti, C. (2001) Maxillofacial Virtual Surgery from 3-D CT Images, in Information Technologies in Medicine: Rehabilitation and Treatment, Volume II (eds M. Akay and A. Marsh), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471206458.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Dartmouth College

  2. 5

    National Technical University of Athens

Author Information

  1. 1

    LBHL, 50A-1148, 1 Cyclotron Road, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

  2. 2

    DEIS, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

  3. 3

    Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 OCT 2001
  2. Published Print: 13 APR 2001

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471414926

Online ISBN: 9780471206453



  • maxillofacial virtual surgery;
  • 3D CT images;
  • numerical scheme;
  • patient results


The history of scientific development is characterized by some key moments owing to the union of competences coming from far away research areas. Virtual surgery, a new discipline that recently appeared among the medical sciences, is an excellent example of contribution from medical and computational knowledges to health development and progress. Craniofacial surgery is a surgical branch regarding study and treatment of any kind of disease (malformations, trauma, and tumors) affecting the face. The anatomic and functional complexity of the face and skull, characterized by the presence of the eyes, ear, nose, mouth, facial nerves, and the proximity of important the brain and the respiratory system, make this area extremely hazardous for even skilled surgeons and a dangerous mine field for residents, fellows, and surgeons in training. For scientific and teaching reasons, we planned a research project for craniofacial surgery simulation from 3-D CT images. Generally, the goal of computer-based surgery simulation is to enable a surgeon to experiment with different surgical procedures in an artificial environment.

We propose a simulation method that allows one to deal with extremely complex anatomical geometries. The computational grid is the natural Cartesian grid in which the acquired 3-D image is defined. The rest of the chapter discusses theoretical basis of the linear elastic problem with embedded Dirichlet boundary conditions, the numerical approximation scheme and the solution method, and the results obtained by the application of the method to a number of datasets. We show comparisons between virtual and real operations in real patients, and consider future work.