Xi'an doctor removes foreign object from woman's head using tech
en.xa.gov.cn     Updated: 2020-08-24

Director Tian Lei of the department of maxillofacial trauma of Stomatology Hospital, Air Force Medical University of PLA, performed a highly tricky operation on Aug 20, removing a foreign object from the base of a patient's skull using three-dimensional (3D) positioning technology.


Tian Lei (R2) operates to remove a foreign object from the base of his patient's skull on Aug 20. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Nine months ago, a woman surnamed Zhu, who is in her 60s in Xunyang county, North China's Shaanxi province, accidentally fell into a coma while working in the field. In the resulting fall, she suffered injuries to her face.

After the facial wounds healed, she continued to experience pain and swelling on the injured side of her head and came to Stomatology Hospital, Air Force Medical University of PLA, in Xi'an.

Tian Lei carefully studied scans of the woman's head and found that there was a faint 5-centimeter shadow on one side of her skull base.

After inquiring about her previous injuries, Tian Lei concluded that the foreign object was a 5-centimeter piece of straw that entered her head from the facial wound. Once inside her body, the straw bypassed the gap between the upper and lower jaw and inserted itself into the skull base.

He immediately admitted the woman to the hospital and organized several experts and professors to conduct a detailed preoperative condition analysis meeting. Tian Lei also designed two comprehensive surgical programs.

The operation lasted more than an hour and the woman did not have any complications or adverse reactions during or after the procedure. She should be discharged from the hospital in four or five days.

Real-time surgical navigation is an advanced digital medical technology that has been developed in recent years. Doctors can formulate virtual surgical plans through visual processing of patient image data, and use a 3D positioning system to guide doctors during surgery, reducing surgical operation time and risks.