Augmented Reality In Breast Cancer Surgery

Recently, UWSpace posted a thesis consisting of a framework for Augmented Reality applications in breast cancer surgery. The project aims to support oncologic breast-conserving surgery.


The abstract describes how the project will create a platform for enhanced surgical planning by developing a framework capable of displaying a virtual model of the tumour(s) on a patient’s breast.

The type of surgery involved comes with risks; the surgeon has to ensure that the disease will not return but also maintain clean margins. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans help with pre-surgical planning, although it involves the patient being in prone position as opposed to the surgery being in supine position, meaning that mapping the location of the tumour(s) is difficult. However, AR enables the tumour to be visualised in the corresponding anatomical position.

The project involves use of the Microsoft HoloLens, which is useful due to its display resolution and multitude of sensors. There are disadvantages to this technology as it is still under development, but they are compensated for by using existing software and hardware.

In the thesis, there is information about acquiring data from breast mimicking objects, discriminating between photometry-based info, offloading data onto a computer to create a correspondence between MRI data and acquired data, and retrieving processed info that can be used for accurately visualising the tumour.

The abstract mentions that time limitations resulted in an incomplete and unsynchronised system, although the project has established a basis for further research.

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