Three-dimensional imaging is a new digital technology which interpolates two-dimensional computer tomography information to render a “life-like” anatomic display of the diagnostic information. We have found that this new methodology significantly improves the assessment and therapy of patients undergoing surgical procedures of the head and neck. The technique has been used in cranial-facial and laryngeal pathology, and in preoperative planning of tumor resection, particularly skull-base neoplasms. The use of three-dimensional computer tomography improves the display of the location and volume of pathology and affords accurate therapeutic and surgical planning. The choice and extent of surgery is better defined, and precise bone removal can be performed. In reconstructive surgery, an accurate prefabricated model of the bony defect can be made to aid reconstruction. Representative cases demonstrating the use of three-dimensional computer tomography in head and neck surgery, and its benefits in saving operative time and improving the postoperative result, will be discussed.
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