12 March 2014 Cochlear implant simulator for surgical technique analysis
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Abstract
Cochlear Implant (CI) surgery is a procedure in which an electrode array is inserted into the cochlea. The electrode array is used to stimulate auditory nerve fibers and restore hearing for people with severe to profound hearing loss. The primary goals when placing the electrode array are to fully insert the array into the cochlea while minimizing trauma to the cochlea. Studying the relationship between surgical outcome and various surgical techniques has been difficult since trauma and electrode placement are generally unknown without histology. Our group has created a CI placement simulator that combines an interactive 3D visualization environment with a haptic-feedback-enabled controller. Surgical techniques and patient anatomy can be varied between simulations so that outcomes can be studied under varied conditions. With this system, we envision that through numerous trials we will be able to statistically analyze how outcomes relate to surgical techniques. As a first test of this system, in this work, we have designed an experiment in which we compare the spatial distribution of forces imparted to the cochlea in the array insertion procedure when using two different but commonly used surgical techniques for cochlear access, called round window and cochleostomy access. Our results suggest that CIs implanted using round window access may cause less trauma to deeper intracochlear structures than cochleostomy techniques. This result is of interest because it challenges traditional thinking in the otological community but might offer an explanation for recent anecdotal evidence that suggests that round window access techniques lead to better outcomes.
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Rebecca L. Turok, Robert F. Labadie, George B. Wanna, Benoit M. Dawant, Jack H. Noble, "Cochlear implant simulator for surgical technique analysis", Proc. SPIE 9036, Medical Imaging 2014: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 903619 (12 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044205; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044205
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