Background: Successful liver surgery requires an understanding of the patient's particular liver characteristics, including shape and vessel distribution. In clinical medicine, there is a high demand for surgical assistance systems to assess individual patients. Our aims in this study were to segment the liver based on computed tomography volume data and to develop surgical plans for individual patients. Methods: The hepatic vessels were semi-automatically extracted from the segmented liver images, and the 3D shape of the liver and extracted vessel distribution were visualized using a surgical simulation system. Results: The 3D visualization of the liver allowed easy recognition of vessel and tumor location and selection of these structures with the 3D pointing device. The surgeon's prior knowledge and clinical experience were integrated into the visualization system to create a practical virtual surgery, leading to improved functionality and accuracy of information recognition in the surgical simulation system. Conclusions: The 3D visualization demonstrated details of individual liver structure, resulting in better understanding and practical surgical simulation.
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