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<p>Mayo Clinic surgeons are using computer-generated, highly accurate 3D images of patients to plan and rehearse complex operations. Surgeons have found this process invaluable in neurosurgery, as well as in craniofacial, orthopedic, lung, and prostate surgeries--and even such special operations as the separation of joined twins. The authors describe how they generate sophisticated 3D images from images currently taken by such established technologies as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR). Doctors can even manipulate the 3D images to determine the exact nature of a patient's condition, the best way to treat the condition, and, if surgery is necessary, the best way to perform the operation. The authors have also brought 3D biomedical imaging and virtual reality together, developing the Virtual Reality Assisted Surgery Program (VRASP) to plan and rehearse surgical procedures. Doctors may some day take VRASP into the operating room to help during surgery. Readers can contact Robb at the Mayo Biomedical Imaging Resource; e-mail</p>

R. A. Robb, D. P. Hanson and J. J. Camp, "Computer-Aided Surgery Planning and Rehearsal at Mayo Clinic," in Computer, vol. 29, no. , pp. 39-47, 1996.
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