This paper presents a new simulation model for flexible needle insertion into soft tissue using modified local constraint method. In this work, we assume deformation of the needle is relatively small, therefore, the soft tissue deformation in the radial direction is far less than it is in the axial direction. Under the assumptions above, the spring model in the radial direction of the needle is established and applied in the puncture procedure to obtain the equilibrium position of the needle-tissue system. The FEM model for the simulation includes three iterative steps: 1. Distribute the axial force on the needle into tissue nodes, and add radial constraint on tissue nodes that are connected with needle’s shaft, then calculate the whole displacement of the tissue nodes; 2. Based on the whole displacement of all nodal points and the effective stiffness matrix, we get the radial force on the tissue, then we use the spring model in the radial direction to get the equilibrium position; 3. Compound the radial and axial force on the tissue nodal points to obtain the actual displacement. Simulation results are presented and discussed.

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