Precision and planning are key to reconstructive surgery. Augmented reality (AR) can bring the information within preoperative computed tomography angiography (CTA) imaging to life, allowing the surgeon to 'see through' the patient's skin and appreciate the underlying anatomy without making a single incision. This work has demonstrated that AR can assist the accurate identification, dissection and execution of vascular pedunculated flaps during reconstructive surgery. Separate volumes of osseous, vascular, skin, soft tissue structures and relevant vascular perforators were delineated from preoperative CTA scans to generate three-dimensional images using two complementary segmentation software packages. These were converted to polygonal models and rendered by means of a custom application within the HoloLens™ stereo head-mounted display. Intraoperatively, the models were registered manually to their respective subjects by the operating surgeon using a combination of tracked hand gestures and voice commands; AR was used to aid navigation and accurate dissection. Identification of the subsurface location of vascular perforators through AR overlay was compared to the positions obtained by audible Doppler ultrasound. Through a preliminary HoloLens-assisted case series, the operating surgeon was able to demonstrate precise and efficient localisation of perforating vessels.
Keywords: Augmented reality; Computed tomography; HoloLens; Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction; Vascular pedicle flap.