3D printing has made its way in medical technology. In fact, there are many uses of 3D printing in medicine. One of the most innovative uses of 3D printing was developed by doctors in Zhujiang Hospital in China by using it to study a very complex surgical procedure called liver resection surgery.
Professor of Department of Hepatobiliary in Zhujiang Hospital Fang Chihua noted that surgically removing tumor in the liver is very difficult if conventional imaging methods are used. Without sufficient information, surgeons cannot assess the risk of hepatic failure after the patient undergoes surgery.
However, the use of 3D printing technology has allowed doctors to create a simulation model of the patient’s liver. They used the complex simulation to study the liver as well as the surrounding organs that are affected. The 3D printed model was created based on the imaging scans of the patient. Moreover, the model was also printed in a 1:1 scale which means that the size and the dimension of the liver is the same as what the doctors will find inside the patient’s body.
Surgeons noted that the 3D printed model of the liver allowed them to see as well as understand the lesion of the affected area. This allowed them to precisely navigate during the surgery without damaging important structures like the veins, arteries and other organs. This procedure has already been tested and the patient was able to recover successfully despite of the risks involved. Hopefully this procedure will be able to help more patients suffering from liver diseases.