Experience with various 3-dimensional navigation systems in head and neck surgery.

Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery

PubMedID: 10722014

Gunkel AR, Freysinger W, Thumfart WF. Experience with various 3-dimensional navigation systems in head and neck surgery. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(3):390-5.
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate the benefits and difficulties encountered when using various 3-dimensional (3-D) navigation systems in head and neck procedures.

DESIGN
Five different navigation systems were used for preoperative planning and intraoperative 3-D navigation in procedures at the paranasal sinuses, the frontal and lateral skull bases, and the petrous bone.

INTERVENTION
Intraoperative 3-D localizing systems (position-sensitive mechanical arms, infrared cameras, etc) demand reliable patient fixation on the operating table. We achieved this by developing a noninvasive head holder. Other systems allow patient movements by using magnetic digitizing technology (ARTMA System) and sophisticated programming.

RESULT
Having surpassed an initial learning curve, we now achieve an accuracy of 1 to 2 mm regularly. Especially in paranasal and frontal basal surgery, all navigation systems used provide valuable positioning information during surgery. In particular for revision or tumor surgery, decisive benefits resulted from use of these systems: shorter overall operation time; safer manipulation near delicate structures; and reliable identification of the skull base even in patients with bleeding, scarring, or missing anatomical landmarks.

CONCLUSIONS
We performed approximately 250 operations with different systems and introduced navigation at the lateral skull base and the petrous bone with mechanical, optic, and magnetic digitizers. In these anatomical areas, navigation was used successfully; the technical challenge is greatest at the lateral skull base, however.