Development of a Virtual Simulator for Planning Mandible Osteotomies in Orthognathic Surgeries

Eder Govea-Valladares, Hugo Medellin-Castillo, Theodore Lim, Balvinder Khambay, M. Rodriguez-Florido, J. Ballesteros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Surgery knowledge and training is typically transmitted by the teacher-
student method. In particular, the training process is carried out during real
surgical interventions and under supervision of an experienced surgeon. Recent
advancements in computer interaction technology and virtual environments
allow a wide variety of surgical procedures to be simulated. Virtual reality (VR)
applications range from art to engineering, science and medicine. In medicine,
virtual simulators are being developed for pre-operative planning and training
purposes. In this way, the transferring process of surgery knowledge and training
can be enhanced and speed up. Medical VR simulators are characterized by
their large demands on visual and physical behavior, and more recently the
demand for the sense of touch, which is an essential aspect in surgery. Regarding
the maxillofacial surgery, one of the most common surgical procedures is the
`Bilateral Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy Mandibular" (BSSROM), which is
used to relocate the jaw at the correct position, x jaw deformities, get better
functionality of the jaw and improve the patient aesthetic. In this paper the
development of a 3D virtual simulator for planning mandible osteotomies in
orthognathic surgeries is presented; in particular the work is focused on the
BSSROM procedure. The proposed system has been developed in an open-
source platform that provides a high level of realism and interaction, and where
the surgeons are able to cut bone in a 3D free-form way; thus enhancing the
traditional virtual osteotomy approach which is based on cutting planes. Some
of the main functionalities of the system include: virtual reality environment
and real-time response; 3D visualization of anatomical models and tools; free-
form manipulation and interaction of cutting tool, bone, and bone fragments;
simulation of single and multiple osteotomies; cutting planes osteotomies and
free-form cut osteotomies. The description, development and implementation
of the system are presented in this paper. The results have shown that the
proposed system is practical and can be used for planning and training mandible
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages11
JournalRevista Mexicana de Ingenieria Biomedica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2012


  • virtual simulator
  • surgical planning
  • osteotomies
  • jaw


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