JAMA Logo Nasal obstruction may generally occur due to a deviated septum or by enlarged tissues within the nose. The two surgical procedures commonly performed by otolaryngologists apparently are septoplasty and turbinate surgery. Well, authors now suggest that virtual nasal surgery can be a productive tool in allowing surgeons to perform personalized nasal surgery through computer simulation techniques.

At the time of the study, experts examined whether virtual surgery performed on three-dimensional nasal airway models can foretell post-surgical biophysical parameters obtained by computational fluid dynamics. Both pre- and post-surgery CT scans of a patient undergoing septoplasty and right inferior turbinate reduction (ITR) were employed to produce 3D models of the nasal airway. Overall, the virtual surgery results were registered as promising and demonstrate the potential of CFD techniques to predict post-surgical outcomes.

Investigators quote, “With the availability of powerful bioengineering computer-aided design software, anatomically accurate three-dimensional (3D) computational models can now be generated from computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software can be used to analyze these models and calculate various anatomic and physiologic measures including nasal airflow, resistance, air conditioning, and wall shear stress.”

John S. Rhee, M.D., M.P.H., of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues mentioned that the CFD calculations of overall nasal resistance for the combined virtual septoplasty with ITR model associated well with the actual post-surgery calculations. Further investigation will be undertaken to gauge if daily use of the armamentarium can benefit otolaryngologists and facial plastic surgeons. The study findings allegedly have important implications in the medical section.

The study posted online will appear in the September print issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.