Introduction: A road map for computational surgery: Challenges and opportunities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Computational Surgery and Dual Training: Computing, Robotics and Imaging




Breast cancer; Gliomas; Healing model; Laparoscopy; Lumpectomy; Modeling tumor; Multiscale mechanobiology; Operating room; Surgery assessment; Vascular adaptation; Vein graft


© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014. This paper introduces the fundamental concepts of computational surgery—Garbey et al. [Computational surgery and dual training, Springer, XVI, 315pp (Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-4419-1122-3, 2009), 2010]—and proposes a road map for progress in this new multidisciplinary field of applied investigation. Recognizing this introduction will serve as common ground for discussion for both communities, surgeons and computational scientists, the scope of the presentation is broad rather than deep. Indeed, the field of computational surgery is sufficiently young that even the definition of computational surgery is still in the making. In this introduction, we propose multiple areas of investigation where the intersection of surgery and computational sciences is clearly in practice at the present time, though surprisingly unrecognized to date. We present examples of these intersections and demonstrate the usefulness and novelty of computational surgery as a new field of research. While some of the elements we present may be considered as basic for a specialized investigator, the simplicity of the presentation is intended as a proof of principle that basic concepts in computational sciences are of core value in solving many existing problems in clinical surgery; we also hope this initial evaluation will highlight potential obstacles and challenges. As the digital revolution transforms the working environment of the surgeon, close collaboration between surgeons and computational scientists is not only unavoidable but also essential to harness the capabilities of both fields to optimize the surgical care. We believe that this new collaboration will allow the community not only to develop the predictive models for the outcomes of surgery but also to enhance the process of surgery—from procedural planning, to execution of procedures and technology interfaces, to assessment of the healing process—investigations that will potentially provide great impact on patient care that far beyond the operating room.

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