Virtual reality based surgical training have a great potential as an alternative to traditional training methods. In neurosurgery, state-of-the-art training devices are limited and the surgical experience accumulates only after so many surgical procedures. Incorrect surgical movements can be destructive; leaving patients paralyzed, comatose or dead. Traditional techniques for training in surgery use animals, phantoms, cadavers and real patients. Most of the training is based either on these or on observation behind windows. The aim of this research is the development of a novel virtual reality training system for neurosurgical interventions based on a real surgical microscope for a better visual and tactile realism. The simulation works by an accurate tissue modeling, a force feedback device and a representation of the virtual scene on the screen or directly on the oculars of the operating microscope. An intra-operative presentation of the preoperative three-dimensional data will be prepared in our laboratory and by using this existing platform virtual organs will be reconstructed from real patients’ images. VISPLAT is a platform for virtual surgery simulation. It is designed as a patient-specific system that provides a database where patient information and CT images are stored. It acts as a framework for modeling 3D objects from CT images, visualization of the surgical operations, haptic interaction and mechanistic material-removal models for surgical operations. It tries to solve the challenging problems in surgical simulation, such as real-time interaction with complex 3D datasets, photorealistic visualization, and haptic (force-feedback) modeling. Surgical training on this system for educational and preoperative planning purposes will increase the surgical success and provide a better quality of life for the patients. Surgical residents trained to perform surgery using virtual reality simulators will be more proficient and have fewer errors in the first operations than those who received no virtual reality simulated education. VISPLAT will help to accelerate the learning curve. In future VISPLAT will offer more sophisticated task training programs for minimally invasive surgery; this system will record errors and supply a way of measuring operative efficiency and performance, working both as an educational tool and a surgical planning platform quality.

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