In robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery, soft-tissue motion tracking and structure recovery are important for intraoperative surgical guidance, motion compensation and delivering active constraints. In this paper, we present a novel method for feature based motion tracking of deformable soft-tissue surfaces in totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass graft (TECAB) surgery. We combine two feature detectors to recover distinct regions on the epicardial surface for which the sparse 3D surface geometry may be computed using a pre-calibrated stereo laparoscope. The movement of the 3D points is then tracked in the stereo images with stereo-temporal constrains by using an iterative registration algorithm. The practical value of the technique is demonstrated on both a deformable phantom model with tomographically derived surface geometry and in vivo robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS) image sequences.
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