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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 769659, 7 pages
Research Article

A Surgical Navigation System for Guiding Exact Cochleostomy Using Auditory Feedback: A Clinical Feasibility Study

1Department of Advanced Medical Initiatives, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan

Received 14 February 2014; Revised 16 April 2014; Accepted 6 May 2014; Published 1 July 2014

Academic Editor: Stefan Weber

Copyright © 2014 Byunghyun Cho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In cochlear implantation (CI), the insertion of the electrode array into the appropriate compartment of the cochlea, the scala tympani, is important for an optimal hearing outcome. The current surgical technique for CI depends primarily on the surgeon’s skills and experience level to achieve the correct placement of the electrode array, and the surgeon needs to confirm that the exact placement is achieved prior to completing the procedure. Thus, a surgical navigation system can help the surgeon to access the scala tympani without injuring important organs in the complex structure of the temporal bone. However, the use of a surgical microscope has restricted the effectiveness of the surgical navigation because it has been difficult to deliver the navigational information to the surgeon from outside of the surgeon’s visual attention. We herein present a clinical feasibility study of an auditory feedback function developed as a computer-surgeon interface that can guide the surgeon to the preset cochleostomy location. As a result, the surgeon could confirm that the drilling point was correct, while keeping his or her eyes focused on the microscope. The proposed interface reduced the common frustration that surgeons experience when using surgical navigation during otologic surgeries.