Augmented reality for image guidance in transoral robotic surgery

J Robot Surg. 2020 Aug;14(4):579-583. doi: 10.1007/s11701-019-01030-0. Epub 2019 Sep 25.


With the advent of precision surgery, there have been attempts to integrate imaging with robotic systems to guide sound oncologic surgical resections while preserving critical structures. In the confined space of transoral robotic surgery (TORS), this offers great potential given the proximity of structures. In this cadaveric experiment, we describe the use of a 3D virtual model displayed in the surgeon's console with the surgical field in view, to facilitate image-guided surgery at the oropharynx where there is significant soft tissue deformation. We also utilized the 3D model that was registered to the maxillary dentition, allowing for real-time image overlay of the internal carotid artery system. This allowed for real-time visualization of the internal carotid artery system that was qualitatively accurate on cadaveric dissection. Overall, this shows that virtual models and image overlays can be useful in image-guided surgery while approaching different sites in head and neck surgery with TORS.

Keywords: Augmented reality; HPV; Image guidance; Oropharynx; Transoral robotic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Augmented Reality*
  • Cadaver
  • Carotid Artery, Internal
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Oropharynx / blood supply
  • Oropharynx / surgery*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*