What is Virtual Surgical Planning?
Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP) is a pre-operative planning method that involves the visualization of a surgical procedure using 3D imaging computer software. The central patient benefit of using VSP is that it assists your surgeon in predefining each step of the surgical procedure including goal planning, bone segment navigation, and ensuring facial symmetry.
VSP utilizes medical image data to accurately plan the surgery so that the surgeon can then transfer that plan to the patient using customized 3D printed surgical guides.
VSP is used in several plastic and craniofacial surgical procedures.
Virtual surgical planning is quickly becoming a best practice standard of care for orthognathics and reconstructive craniofacial (maxillofacial) surgeries. Dr. Deschamps-Braly commonly uses Virtual Surgical Planning to plan the following procedures:
- Orthognathic (jaw) surgery
- Chin reduction (osseous genioplasty)
- Pediatric forehead reconstruction (various congenital craniofacial syndromes)
- Gender affirming surgery
VSP ensures that the customized treatment plan we create for our patients is highly accurate, and results in the best possible patient outcome.
The benefits of VSP for patients.
VSP helps the patient by giving them a means to visualize exactly what the surgeon will be doing in the operating room, resulting in clarity of communication and increased peace-of-mind. Our patients are typically quite fascinated by viewing a 3D rendering of their own jaw or skull, and knowing exactly how the procedure will work.
Other patient benefits include:
- Fewer ”surprises” and clearer expectations
- Better outcomes – VSP makes it easier for your surgeon to reconfirm planned operative movements
- Reduced surgery time – VSP can eliminate hours of orthognathic pre-op planning
What to expect at your VSP imaging session.
If you are a candidate for VSP the first step will be to undertake a comprehensive initial workup session. This session will include taking all 3D facial and intraoral images, measurements, plain films, study models, midline notations, occlusion class notation, a bite registration, and a cone beam CT scan. A cephalometric analysis is then performed to show the spatial relationships between dental and skeletal elements.
How we build your treatment plan using VSP.
The data collection is then digitized and virtual 3D models are created to simulate the planned surgical movements and outlined patient goals based on the pre-op analysis. The VSP software shows different colors for different sections of the skull, making it easy to see what goes where and in what order.
Plastic surgical guides are then fabricated using a 3D printer, allowing your surgeon to perform the virtual plan in the operating room to ensure precise repositioning of the jaw and other skeletal features.
Want to know more about Virtual Surgical Planning and how it may affect your surgical procedure? Please ask your surgeon during your session or call our office on +1.415.624.3922.
Image source: https://www.medicalmodeling.com/
Dr. Deschamps-Braly is a board-certified plastic and craniofacial surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and craniofacial surgery for adults and children. He is also one of the world’s foremost leaders and innovators in facial gender confirmation surgery.