Math and Surgery

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Math and Surgery

Math & Surgery

Above is a picture of André Linhares, a PhD student at the University of Waterloo who uses mathematical models to help children with facial deformities. He runs an algorithum to determine which locations are best to make the cuts for kids who are getting surgery because their skulls have fused prematurely. He then sends those results to the surgeon, who chooses the best model. These models so far have produced different cuts than the surgeon would have naturally been inclined to do. Linhares hopes the use of them will result in better outcomes for the patients. He also wants to extend the use of these models to more complicated cases in the future.Photo and Article: Beard, Anna. "Using Mathematical Models to Make the Best Cuts in Skull Surgery." University of Waterloo. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. .

Pictured above is a team of computer scientists at Johns Hopkins University who have collaborated with cardiac surgeon David Yuh using data from the da Vinci robotic surgical system in order to unravel the "language of surgery" and build mathematical models to represent the safest and most effective ways to perform surgery, including tasks such as suturing, dissecting, and joining tissue. They want to develop an effective way to evalute a surgeon's work and help doctors improve their operating room skills. Researchers perform surgical skills with the help of the robotic device, and the device records the movements so they can be analysed by a computer. This team has borrowed techniques from speech recognition technology and applied them to motion recognition and skills assessment.Photo and Article: "Headlines@Hopkins: Johns Hopkins University NewsReleases." Headlines@Hopkins: Johns Hopkins University NewsReleases. Johns Hopkins University, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. .

Mathematics is taking the guesswork out of plastic surgery at Ohio State University. Plastic surgeons are turning to mathematics to ensure that the live tissue segments that are selected to restore damaged body parts will have enough blood and oxygen to survive the surgical transfer. Mathematicians have shown that they can use differential equations to determine which tissue segments selected for transfer from one part of the body to another part will recieve the level of oxygen required to sustain the tissue. This procedure is most commonly used to restore body parts damaged by cancer or trauma. To create the initial model, mathematicians determined a number of values including the level of oxygen in the tissue, the rate of exchange of oxygen from vessels to tissue, and the pressure under which the blood is flowing in those vessels. Though it is still just a concept, the mathematicians believe that the initial system of five differential equations developed will ensure tissue survival. The photo above shows plastic surgeons at Ohio State University Medical Center.Article: "Mathematics Taking Guesswork Out Of Plastic Surgery Tissue Transfer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. .Picture: "Plastic Surgeons Get New Standing in Medical School." The Columbus Dispatch. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. .

According to new research, personality style, intelligence quotient and hemisphere of seizure origin are factors that would help to predict success of surgeries as epilepsy treatment. Researchers reached these conclusions by using predictive mathematical models. They have obtained a success rate of 90% in terms of predicting the outcome after surgery by using advanced mathematical models for its combination. This study opens the door for integration of complex mathematical models in previous assessment of surgeries; it is more proof of how math is impacting the surgical world. Pictured above is an example of epileptic surgery.Article: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "Progress in the prediction of epilepsy surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2013. .Photo: "Epilepsy Surgery." Department of Neurology. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. .

This video focuses on the mathematical planning of orthopaedic surgery. Considering the knee specifically, it explains that new sophisticated mathematical knee models and algorithms are being developed that should improve the planning of medical interventions in the near future. Well before their scheduled procedures, surgeons are able to picture the various operation scenarios in the virtual orthopaedic lab with the aim of avoiding patient discomfort, and the help of a futuristic mathematical look. This should aid surgeons in their abilities to prepare for individual surgical cases in the orthopaedic field.Video Link: Citation: "Mathematical Planning of Orthopaedic Surgery." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Aug. 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. .

The photo above is from an article centered on a pediatric plastic surgeon. The surgeon, Dr. Rick Redett, uses lots of math in his work, from conversions to measurements to basic geometry. For example, he repairs many cleft lips on babies, and to do that he uses the formula for the circumference of a circle to help him even out the nostrils (as you can see from the photo above, one nostril is larger than the other in cleft lips). When asked "How do you think math helps you do your job better?" he replied "I couldn't do my job without math".Photo and Article: "Math for Grownups." Math for Grownups. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. .

At the University of Queensland (medical department pictured above), a statistical model developed by a mathematician is helping the world's surgeons plan major heart surgery. Dr. Geoff McLachlan created this model with an individual patient's needs in mind- it computes whether a biological or mechanical heart valve will be the best option for a patient. The model was constructed using data from over 2000 patients from over the past 20 years, and it considered about 30 variables, including patient age at the time of the operation and health record before and after. Dr. McLachlan explains that "Our model methodology enables us to handle simultaneously the competing risks of two events - death before failure of the replacement valve and actual failure of the valve before death".Article: "Maths Model Helps Surgeons Plan Major Heart Surgery." UQ News. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014. .Photo: "University of Queensland Postgraduate Surgical Anatomy Training Course." - School of Biomedical Sciences. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014. .

Above is a picture from a Science News article which explains how a new mathematical method for matching kidney patients and donors could make transplants possible for many more people. This mathematical study shows how to match up the maximum number of donors with recipients while simultaneously guaranteeing high compatibility in each case. The photo above details part of this method. The numbers in the circles represent the degree of importance that a particular patient receives a kidney. The numbers on the lines connecting the circles denote the quality of each match. It is predicted that this new method will give 1,000 to 2,000 more patients kidneys every year.Photo and Article: "Kidney Matchmaking." Science News. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2014. .


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