SoftCut: A Virtual Planning Tool for Soft Tissue Resection on CT Images
With the increasing use of three-dimensional (3D) models and Computer Aided Design (CAD) in the medical domain, virtual surgical planning is now frequently used. Most of the current solutions focus on bone surgical operations. However, for head and neck oncologic resection, soft tissue ablation and reconstruction are common operations. In this paper, we propose a method to provide a fast and efficient estimation of shape and dimensions of soft tissue resections. Our approach takes advantage of a simple sketch-based interface which allows the user to paint the contour of the resection on a patient specific 3D model reconstructed from a computed tomography (CT) scan. The volume is then virtually cut and carved following this pattern. From the outline of the resection defined on the skin surface as a closed curve, we can identify which areas of the skin are inside or outside this shape. We then use distance transforms to identify the soft tissue voxels which are closer from the inside of this shape. Thus, we can propagate the shape of the resection inside the soft tissue layers of the volume. We demonstrate the usefulness of the method on patient specific CT data.
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