Computer Simulations of Transcanal Endoscope Ear Surgery
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The surgical field within the middle ear is small, has been, up until recently, largely hidden from view, difficult to visualize, and filled with tiny, delicate anatomical structures. Thus, surgeons operating in the middle ear had to, by necessity, gather critical information only after they expose the surgical field as they perform microscopic ear surgery (MES). This situation made middle ear surgery particularly challenging. However, technological advances achieved from the turn of the twentieth century up to the present day in the fields of computer software and diagnostic imaging have helped to provide ear surgeons with better qualitative and quantitative data than was previously obtainable. Developments in both computer and imaging technology made complete computer simulation of middle ear surgical procedures possible for MES using programs such as Voxel-Man  and the OSU virtual temporal bone system  for education and training purposes.