Simulation of Congenital Heart Defect Corrective Surgeries Using Thin Shell Elements
Congenital heart defect (CHD) corrective interventions in infants are extremely challenging due to commonly complex and heterogeneous disease patterns. At present, cardiac surgeons can only rely on non-invasive imaging prior to surgery. Critical decisions regarding the surgical procedure of choice and its execution must be made during the actual surgery and are strongly dependent on experience. We want to improve surgery planning by providing a simulation system that is able to accurately predict patient-specific results for different surgical procedures preoperatively. Therefore we use a sophisticated simulation model based on thin shell elements. We present a novel joining approach that allows for implementing all necessary surgical low-level procedures, e.g. incising and suturing, independent from the simulation model. No modifications of previously verified thin shell implementations are necessary, thus our simulation system can instantaneously benefit from further improved simulation models in the future. By reducing computationally expensive simulations to a minimum during a virtual surgery, we can achieve a fluent workflow for surgeons. However, a specialized mesh resampling algorithm is required to fully utilize our simulation system.
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