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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 904803, 7 pages
Research Article

Quality Assurance of Multiport Image-Guided Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Lateral Skull Base

1Chair for Metrology and Quality Management, RWTH Aachen University, Steinbachstr. 19, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2TU Darmstadt, Graphisch-Interaktive Systeme, Fraunhoferstr. 5, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany
3Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Klinik, Universitätsklinikums Düsseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Received 13 February 2014; Accepted 28 May 2014; Published 3 July 2014

Academic Editor: Stefan Weber

Copyright © 2014 Maria Nau-Hermes 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.


For multiport image-guided minimally invasive surgery at the lateral skull base a quality management is necessary to avoid the damage of closely spaced critical neurovascular structures. So far there is no standardized method applicable independently from the surgery. Therefore, we adapt a quality management method, the quality gates (QG), which is well established in, for example, the automotive industry and apply it to multiport image-guided minimally invasive surgery. QG divide a process into different sections. Passing between sections can only be achieved if previously defined requirements are fulfilled which secures the process chain. An interdisciplinary team of otosurgeons, computer scientists, and engineers has worked together to define the quality gates and the corresponding criteria that need to be fulfilled before passing each quality gate. In order to evaluate the defined QG and their criteria, the new surgery method was applied with a first prototype at a human skull cadaver model. We show that the QG method can ensure a safe multiport minimally invasive surgical process at the lateral skull base. Therewith, we present an approach towards the standardization of quality assurance of surgical processes.