Given the sinus' close proximity to your eyes and brain -- not to mention the area's super-sensitive nature -- the single slip of a surgeon's scalpel can have debilitating and permanent repercussions. That's why researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a 3D-modelling technique that maps out each patient's sinus cavity prior to their surgery. By doing so, doctors will be able to practice the upcoming procedure as well as see exactly what sort of effect it will have on the patient.
"It's like playing a videogame to remove some of the tissues and then we can back-compute it to see how it impacts nasal airflow," Kai Zhao, a medical researcher at OSU Wexner Medical Center, said in a statement. "Folks in the aerodynamic industry have been using this kind of method for a long time and we started using it in the nasal airway to see if we're able to get a better understanding of the physiology underlying nasal function and also nasal symptoms."
To that end, the OSU researchers will also employ fluid dynamics simulations and even 3D-printed models to help predict the effects a surgery will have on post-op airflow through the sinus cavity.