The human temporal bone is a highly complex region. And for an otolaryngology resident, the various structures at risk don’t make it any easier.
Voxel-Man Tempo is a unique training simulator for temporal bone surgery. It allows for realistic handling of the drill and a suction, and is ideally suited to gain a thorough understanding of the surgical approaches.
Realistic models and instruments
Patient and instruments are modeled in high resolution inside a computer, and visualized on a 3D screen. Using techniques of virtual reality and robotics, it provides a look and feel close to the real procedure. The system is based on virtual 3D models, derived from high-resolution CT data.
The handpiece is represented by a force feedback device, which can be moved freely in space and provides very realistic haptic sensations. With Voxel-Man Tempo, you can actually feel the subtle differences between the different structures of the mastoid bone.
Instruments provided include a selection of metal and diamond burs of different sizes, which are activated by a foot pedal, as well as a suction. At any time, the surgical site may be viewed from all sides and magnified as desired. A virtual surgical navigation system is permanently tracking the movements of the instruments on three orthogonal cross-sectional CT images.
Voxel-Man Tempo offers seven pre-defined training cases of the middle ear with different anatomy and pathology, including a sclerotic bone and a cholesteatoma. Each case is available as a left or right ear. Structures at risk, such as facial nerve, tympanic chord, semicircular canals, vestibular labyrinth, cochlea, auditory ossicles, carotid artery, sigmoid sinus and dura, are highlighted. An optional support function provides automatic alerts when the trainee is approaching critical structures.
Tasks and skills assessment
Voxel-Man Tempo provides various predefined tasks such as antrotomy and mastoidectomy, and an automatic skills assessment. Both process and result of a trainee’s preparation can be objectively evaluated, based on master preparations. Hence, trainees get an immediate feedback on their work, progress over time can be monitored, and complementary self-studies become possible. Instructors may review results of their students at any time.
As a step further, tutors can even define their own tasks and create master preparations.
And, of course, Voxel-Man Tempo shares the key advantages of all Voxel-Man surgery simulators.