Morbid obesity is an increasing problem in the USA. LAGB is a complex reversible surgical procedure to control morbid obesity. It consists of placing a flexible band around the stomach to constrict the food passage and produce an early sensation of satiety. Due to increasing demand in this procedure and the high cost in training surgeons, a virtual reality simulator for LAGB is currently under development.
The LAGB simulator incorporates the the pars flaccida technique for the lap-band placement, which involves basically three phases: port placement, dissection and band placement. As the port placement phase is extracorporeal, the simulator is designed to train surgeons on the other two phases.
The LAGB simulator consists of models of upper abdomen including, liver, stomach and spleen, generated from segmentation of data from Visible Human project. Ligaments and fats are modeled separately and added to the anatomical scene. Some of the novel features of the LAGB simulator include:
- Both blunt dissection and burning of fat
- Bleeding and smoke smoke generation
- Physiological consequences on every step of the procedure
- Real-time data logging, scoring and evaluation.