Navigation is an adjunct to existing surgical procedures. It is potentially useful in any procedure where it is possible to make a three-dimensional surgical plan from computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, but is not easy to translate this plan into surgical reality because of absolute limitations of access or lack of anatomical landmarks. For navigational surgery to be successful it is essential to have a sound understanding of its limitations in terms of intraoperative changes in tissue position, and how the registration process works, to achieve optimum surgical accuracy with minimal impact on time. In maxillofacial surgery one of the best examples of the benefit of navigation is in the field of secondary orbital reconstruction. As with many areas of surgery careful attention to planning will yield good results. © 2009 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
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