Recent advancements in computing power have made it possible to simulate minimally invasive and thermally based surgical procedures for the treatment of solid tumors, prior to surgery. However, to assist the surgeons during therapy, large parallel computing resources are required to perform real-time image guided surgery [h1-h4].
To that end, a 3D image of the target tumor, and adjacent anatomical tissue, must be processed and imported into the software simulation packages, computed, and sent back to the surgical suite within 1-3 seconds. As the surgery progresses this process must be repeated many times with feedback response time of 1-3 seconds. While some surgeries take hours to complete, a huge amount of data (terabytes) could be accumulated in a single surgery.
The goal is to develop real-time multimodality image guided surgery that includes thermal ablation and endoscopic and robotic surgery for the treatment of cancer tumors [h5-h9]. Development and evaluation of advanced computer programs for an interactive visualization environment of multimodality image guided surgery is the objective of this study.
The integrated computation and visualization environment will ultimately lead to:
- Safe development and testing of novel surgical techniques;
- Teaching and practice of multimodality surgical procedures, in real time;
- Real-time telemedicine for image guided surgery and treatment planning.