This story intrigues me as someone who has had allergies and sinus issues every year since the age of two, and surgury is something I’m strongly considering. Now, the sinus’ close proximity to the eyes and brain (including its super-sensitive nature) means that the single slip of the surgical scalpel can result in negative and permanent repercussions. Because of this, researchers at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center have developed a 3D-modelling technique that maps out the sinus cavity of each patient before their surgery, giving doctors the opportunity to practice the upcoming procedure and see exactly what effect (if any exist) the surgery could have on the patient.
The research team at OSU will also employ fluid dynamics simulations and 3D-printed models to predict the effects a surgery will have on the airflow through the sinus cavity post-operation. According to Kai Zhao, a medical researcher at OSU Wexner Medical Center:
“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. 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.”
[Thanks Ohio State University]