Facial plast Surg 2015; 31(05): 446-462
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1564717
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Computational Planning in Facial Surgery

Stefan Zachow
1  Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB), Berlin, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
18 November 2015 (online)


This article reflects the research of the last two decades in computational planning for cranio-maxillofacial surgery. Model-guided and computer-assisted surgery planning has tremendously developed due to ever increasing computational capabilities. Simulators for education, planning, and training of surgery are often compared with flight simulators, where maneuvers are also trained to reduce a possible risk of failure. Meanwhile, digital patient models can be derived from medical image data with astonishing accuracy and thus can serve for model surgery to derive a surgical template model that represents the envisaged result. Computerized surgical planning approaches, however, are often still explorative, meaning that a surgeon tries to find a therapeutic concept based on his or her expertise using computational tools that are mimicking real procedures. Future perspectives of an improved computerized planning may be that surgical objectives will be generated algorithmically by employing mathematical modeling, simulation, and optimization techniques. Planning systems thus act as intelligent decision support systems. However, surgeons can still use the existing tools to vary the proposed approach, but they mainly focus on how to transfer objectives into reality. Such a development may result in a paradigm shift for future surgery planning.