When it comes to your medical treatment, custom is usually better. You want to know that your treatment is specific to you and your needs. Tom Gildea, MD, Section Head of Bronchoscopy, knows this better than most. As a pulmonologist, Dr. Gildea sees many patients who need airway stents due to tumors, inflammation, or a mass. And though the narrowed airway almost always requires intervention, no two patient conditions are alike, and the opportunity for total customization can provide hope in some of the most extreme cases.
With the help of CT scans and the advent, and continual improvement, of 3D printing, Dr. Gildea is able to create experimental custom printed airway stents for a small, cohort of his patients who meet certain clinical requirements. With this innovation, under FDA compassionate use, he has taken something that used to be changed monthly, to something that need only be changed once a year. "We've had great support from the FDA and they are beginning to understand how to work with patient-specific products," Dr. Gildea said during the Annual Medical Innovation Summit.
Due to this incredible bout of innovation, Dr. Gildea was the recipient of the Outstanding Innovation in Medical Device award at the annual Inventor Awards Reception held by CCI in May 2018.