Canadian Surgeon Dr. Ivar Mendez is the head of surgery at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Mendez reported that he always prepares before a brain surgery via the use of computer simulations. Given the fact that brain surgery is a very sensitive operation wherein it involves opening the skull and toe brain folds are inserted with electrodes. A miscalculation on the part of the surgeon can cause irreversible damage depending on the specific part of the brain involved. That’s why the meticulous doctor always studied the patient’s brain and the targets he needed to access.
Now, Dr. Mendez wanted to try out 3D printing the patient’s brain as a model instead of using computer simulations. It took 7-months and several experts from neuropsychologists, MRI specialists, radiologist, and engineers to create the first rubber prototype. However, Dr. Mendez was not satisfied with the model because it did not display the important and smaller features of the brain. Now, the team and Dr. Mendez have a more detailed and larger brain model wherein the Dr. Mendez can actually practice the surgery.
Dr. Mendez was more than satisfied with the brain replica because it mimics the consistency of an actual brain. He further elaborated on the possibilities of 3D printed medical innovations like the same principles can be applied on creating 3D brain models of patients with brain tumor, helping neurosurgeons to better grasp the extent of the effects of the tumor or lesion removal. And this is something that cannot be easily seen with the use of digital models.