Top 10 Update: 3D Printing

Top 10 Update: 3D Printing

Like many scientific innovations, 3D printing technology is ever growing. Just in the past few years, 3D printing technology has moved out of the engineering lab, and into the hands of healthcare providers. One of its newer applications, has been successfully used to create an exact replica of a patient's anatomy, allowing for a significant number of preoperative benefits. Such benefits are evident in the story of a 3D printed brain aneurysm replica that helped guide a complex surgical repair.
 
At Cleveland Clinic, April 2019, a to-scale 3D-printed model of a man’s aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery was produced. The patient’s surgeon, Mark Brian, MD, MS, was able to, “hold the aneurysm model in [his] hand” which enhanced his understanding of the patient's anatomy and allowed him to visualize and develop a “patient-specific surgical plan” before he made even one incision. Regarding preoperative preparation, the model provided Dr. Brian with an image of the artery stuck to the aneurysm – actively preventing being “blindsided by that artery at the time of surgery.” As the procedure concluded, Dr. Brian shared he was “genuinely surprised by how helpful the model was.”
 
Given the growing number of cases, 3D printing technology has and will continue to increase the level of patient-specific personalization in medicine. In recognition of such a trend, “Patient-Specific Products Achieved with 3D Printing” was awarded the #5 spot on our Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2019.
 
Read more at ConsultQD. 
 

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