Case Studies Complex osteotomy procedure - Onco case

Transforming patient consent for a complex osteotomy procedure

Case Study
  • Oncology

To some, an osteotomy procedure to remove metastatic cancer from the acetabulum would be incomprehensible, to others, a lifeline; where one patient considers it life-saving, another will find it a devastating experience. How a patient perceives an upcoming procedure can be greatly impacted by the nature of how it is explained to them by their surgeon.


In this case, a 63 year old male presented with pathological fracture right acetabulum metastatic cancer. His surgeons’ treatment plan involved removing the tumor and the surrounding area of his acetabulum. For any one person, a permanent and significant change in their body’s physical appearance at this scale will undoubtedly come with many questions and mental challenges. Questions and challenges that must be put to rest before the procedure can take place.


The surgeon requested a life-size 3D printed model of the patient’s anatomy to use as a visual and tactile guide when explaining the pathology to the patient and to help him understand why such drastic measures were required in order to preserve his life.

Benefits of the 3D model

The model was indispensable in helping the patient to better understand the procedure. His initial worries and doubts were abated upon seeing the model which supported him to come to terms with this necessary but heartbreaking surgical intervention.

In addition to helping this patient overcome incredible anxieties, this model was also extremely helpful between surgeon to surgeon communication and education for this procedure.

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