Case Studies 2019 09 23 11h58 29 e1571411032220

3D printed anatomical model supports informed patient consent ahead of meningioma surgery

Case Study
  • Neurosurgery

A 45-year-old male presented at Barts Hospital London with a meningioma, which is a tumor that forms on membranes covering the brain and spinal cord just inside the skull. This particular case is referred to as a skull base tumor given its location.

The clinical team faced difficulty in localizing the tumor on the sphenoid bone and contexting the surrounding vessels, making treatment planning difficult.

CT & MRI scans were fused together to segment both bony anatomy and tumor boundaries accurately for the procedure. A 1:1 scale model of the skull-base tumor and vasculature around the Circle of Willis were 3D printed (an arterial structure located at the base of the brain that supplies blood to the brain and surrounding structures).

The 3D printed anatomical model was used to evaluate the location of the tumor and the surrounding vessels. Enabling the surgical team to plan their exact approach well in advance of stepping foot into the operating theatre saving valuable time under anaesthetics while the patient's brain was exposed.

Additionally, the 3D printed anatomical model supported informed consent from the patient to explain the exact approach and alleviate anxiety prior to the operations. The anatomical model also enabled a greater understanding of the approach across the entire surgical team.