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Delivering Personalized Treatment Plan through 3D Printed Models


3D printing has emerged as a groundbreaking technology with the potential to revolutionize various industries. The healthcare sector has seen significant advancements, where 3D printing is enabling the creation of patient-specific care at an unprecedented scale. By harnessing the power of advanced segmentation capabilities and 3D printing, surgeons and clinicians are now able to deliver personalized treatment solutions that are tailored to each individual's unique needs. This article explores how 3D printing is helping drive the transformation of personalized healthcare, empowering both patients and healthcare professionals in delivering improved outcomes.

Surgical Planning using 3D models Streamlining Surgical Planning:

3D printing plays a vital role in surgical planning, providing clinicians and surgeons with detailed anatomical models created from patient medical images. Surgeons are using 3D printed models to enhance their understand their patient's anatomy, plan complex surgeries, and practice surgical techniques before entering the operating room. By being able to see patient data in 3D, it allows for more comprehensive preoperative assessments, leading to reduced surgical risks and enhanced surgical precision.

  • Orthopaedic Speciality. For this patient diagnosed with Rapidly Destructive Osteoarthritis (RDO) in his right hip was scheduled for hip replacement surgery. Surgeons utilized a 3D printed model to guide the pre-bending of reconstruction plates, offering crucial information and reassurance for the surgical plan. This not only supported a more targeted equipment selection but also resulted in a significant 40-minute reduction in operating time, thereby minimizing intraoperative risk for the patient. Read the full case study here.
  • Cardiothoracic / Vascular Speciality. For this patient diagnosed with Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries (ccTGA), Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), and Pulmonary Stenosis (PS), the surgeon utilized a 3D digital and printed model as a crucial tool in the pre-operative planning. The use of patient-specific 3D solutions improved surgical planning, execution, and contributed to a successful intervention, leading to the patient's prompt discharge within a week post-surgery. Read the full case study here.

Training SurgeonsTraining the Future Generation:

Moreover, 3D printed models are used as educational tools, enabling medical students, residents, and surgical teams to gain hands-on experience in a risk-free environment and without the added costs of a cadaver lab. By allowing healthcare professionals to hone their skills and familiarize themselves with complex procedures, 3D printing contributes to the overall improvement of surgical outcomes and patient safety. Here are some examples showcasing how 3D printing can assist in academic clinical training.

  • Suturing Techniques Training. Practicing suturing on patient-specific 3D printed models enhances training for both advanced surgeons and students. This safe environment allows them to refine skills, gain confidence, and explore the viability of treatments for rare procedures. Utilizing 3D printed surgical models crafted from tissue-mimicking material, surgeons in Southampton are improving their training methods, leading to enhanced patient outcomes. Watch the video here.

Surgical Customizations using 3D printing Enhancing Customization and Personalization:

One of the most significant advantages of 3D printing in healthcare is its ability to produce patient-specific medical devices and implants. Traditional manufacturing methods often rely on standardized products that may not perfectly fit the individual patient's anatomy or you are testing the fit in the operating room. With 3D printing, healthcare providers can now test the fit of devices on the 3D printed model or pre-bend equipment prior to entering the operating room.

  • Cardiothoracic / Vascular Speciality. In this case study, surgeons aimed to improve the quality of life for a 32-year-old male with a complex congenital heart defect (CHD) by replacing an existing RV-PA conduit with a Medtronic Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) to delay further major surgery. They used a 3D model derived from the patient's medical data to plan the procedure, which provided crucial insights into the cardiac anatomy and reduced operating time by 40 minutes through advanced rehearsal and preparation. Read the full case study here.
  • Oncology Speciality. In the case of this patient diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), surgeons used a 3D printed model as a guide for pre-bending the reconstruction plates. This innovative approach not only facilitated precise plate shaping but also led to a notable 60-minute reduction in operating room time. Read the full case study here.

    Challenges and Future Directions:

    Looking ahead, continued research and development will lead to further advancements in 3D printing materials, technologies, and processes. As the technology evolves, we can expect to see increased collaboration between engineers, designers, clinicians, and patients to drive innovation and optimize patient-specific care.

    The transformative power of 3D printing in healthcare is undeniable. By enabling patient-specific care at scale, 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach diagnostics, treatment, and rehabilitation. From surgical planning models to models for practicing the surgery, 3D printing is poised to reshape the healthcare landscape, providing more personalized and effective care for patients worldwide.

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