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NCKU professor designs navigation system for orthognathic surgical planning

2012/05/18 11:37:01

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) Jing-Jing Fang, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of Virtual Reality & Multimedia Research Laboratory at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), southern Taiwan, has been devoted into a novel computer-aided navigation system for orthognathic planning in which an unprecedented design called navigational articulator (Narticulator) can provide surgeons more comprehensive information to rule out the uncertainty occurred in high-risk surgeries and increase the accuracy in planning as well as outcomes prediction in the complex ones.

Cooperated with Dr. Tung-Yiu Wong in oral and medicine institute at National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH), Professor Fang led her team to assist surgeons to treat complex cases. Since 1999, there are over 300 cases taking their service, mainly in oral and maxillofacial regions including model construction, prothesis implant, shape restoration, orthognathic surgery (OGS) and implant guide.

The Narticulator project was funded by National Science Council. Invention of the new medical device specially for OGS planning is unprecedented which integrates optical tracking device, articulator into computer aided surgical plan to promote preoperative planning, analysis, and surgical guidance from 2D to 3D, therefore, provides more precise prediction in surgical outcomes.

According to Fang, orthognathic surgery involves the harmonious proportion, occlusion, and symmetry. Traditionally, before surgery, the application of X-ray in cephalometric on paper may result in rather large error in adjustment.

The orthognathic surgery assisted by Narticulator will prepare CT scan beforehand to simultaneously conduct 3D symmetry analysis and 3D bony cephalometry during planning, said Fang, and the procedure enhancing the accuracy has been applied to correct cases like temporomandibular joint abnormalities (of TMJ), hemifacial microsomia, facial asymmetry, and complex facial disharmonies.

Over 50 clinical cases applying Narticulator system have been undergoing so far by Prof. Fang and 30 cases have been completed, according to their record.

Nevertheless, other key project cooperated with Dr. Ruey-Mo Lin in orthopedics department, NCKUH, is Computer-aided pedicle screw fixation for spinal surgery. Spinal surgery is extremely risky and any misplacing implant will cause lifelong paralysis; therefore the customized guide jig reduces the uncertainty and improves the stability during operation. Patients suffer from idiopathic scoliosis and spondylolisthesis can apply the techniques.

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