There are many innovations in 3D printing technology in the medical world. Aside from being used in creating casts for orthopedic patients, it is also being used by pediatric neurosurgeons to create model body parts of their patients.
Surgeons from the Boston Children’s Hospital are now using 3D printing to create 3D models of anatomies of pediatric patients suffering from cerebrovascular malformations which is characterized by having abnormalities in the blood vessels found in the brain.
The pediatric patients, due to the unique brain anatomies, are very difficult to operate on. Dr. Edward Smith, co-director of the Cerebrovascular Surgery and Intervention Center said that the operation may be impossible without the help of 3D printing
The use of 3D printed models can give an intuitive feel of the treatment and it also reduces the risks during the actual operation. To create the 3D printed brain models, a 3D resin printer was use. The data of the pediatric patients was obtained through magnetic resonance as well as MR arteriography data which allowed doctors to see the malformations of the vessels. It is interesting to take note that 3D printing was able to produce 98% accurate models of the patients’ brains.
The use of 3D printing technology in creating accurate and precise brain models allowed the doctors to have a 30-minute reduction of the surgery time which may not sound like a lot of time but it means a dramatic difference and less exposure to anesthesia.
3D printing has become a regular tool in the medical industry as it allows doctors to do their jobs with accuracy and less risk to their patients.