Recent advances in medical imaging and surgical techniques have made possible the correction of severe facial deformities and fractures. Surgical correction techniques often involve the direct manipulation – both relocation and surgical fracture – of the underlying facial bone. The work presented here introduces an environment for interactive, visuohaptic simulation of craniofacial surgical procedures, with an emphasis on both mandibular distraction procedures and traditional orthognathic surgeries. The simulator is intended both for instruction and for procedure-specific rehearsal, and can thus load canonical training cases or patient-specific image data into the interactive environment. A network module allows remote demonstration of procedure technique, a form of ‘haptic tutoring’.
This paper discusses the simulation, haptic feedback, and graphic rendering techniques used to drive the environment. Particular emphasis is placed on techniques for fracture and subsequent rigid manipulation of bone structures, a key component of the relevant procedures.