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Advanced Tech Enables Simulated Sinus Surgery

March 15, 2021

The world’s first international online training session utilizing advanced 3D sinus models and a telemedicine system has taken place, highlighting a new mode of medical training in Covid-19 era.
Instructed by world-class surgeons at the University of Adelaide in Australia, three surgeons at Hokkaido University in Japan performed simulated endoscopic sinus surgeries in the training program utilizing a telemedicine system. The two-day training session, held on 11th and 12th February, was simultaneously broadcasted worldwide to more than two hundred registrants from eleven countries and regions.

“This real-time online training is extremely valuable, as travel to attend on-site training is restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic,” says Assistant Professor Masanobu Suzuki at Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Medicine, who coordinated the program. The university’s team was led by Professor Akihiro Homma and Associate Professor Yuji Nakamaru of the same department.

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a standard procedure to remove blockages and open pathways in people’s sinuses. But without an accurate understanding of human anatomy or mastery of the relevant procedures, it can cause serious complications in the brain and eyes.

The training program involved simulated operations performed on 3D sinus models with varying difficulties. Using a telemedicine system, Professor Peter-John Wormald and Professor Alkis Psaltis, both world-class surgeons at the University of Adelaide, viewed real-time endoscopic images of the surgeries at a distance of 8,000 kilometers; they provided instructions to the three surgeons, while other specialists around the world watched online.

After 15 hours of highly detailed training in advanced surgical procedures, the three surgeons are now able to perform challenging frontal sinus surgeries with high precision.

Read the advanced tech enables simulated sinus surgery article.