Dr. Inderbir Gill is not only getting experienced at seeing to the creation of 3D models, he’s also becoming highly proficient with more complex surgeries that certainly would have been more difficult, taken longer, and been harder to explain to others without the benefit of the models—and actually may in some cases have not even been possible before.
Just last weekend, another procedure was successfully performed by surgeons in Mumbai at Sir HN Hospital. They 3D printed the model of a kidney, and before removing a cancerous tumor, were able to practice—which you can bet the patient was glad about!
Dr. Gill is both a professor and chair at University of Southern California as well as visiting faculty at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre. He was able to perform this last surgery in the form of a partial nephrectomy, meaning he only took out the diseased portion of the organ, belonging to 48-year-old Mushtaq Ahmed. Thanks to the 3D model, the surgeon was well familiar with what they would find—and how they would deal with it.
“The data from the scan reports is fed into the computer and the 3D printer on the basis of the reports creates a 3D model of the organ just like it is in the patient’s body,” said Dr. Gill.
These models are an incredible benefit for surgeons to have, and one which certainly was not available in years past as a diagnostic device, or a training device; in fact, most all of us have heard comical accounts of medical students looking for anything possible to practice operating on, including vegetable and fruit! There are other benefits as well in that the patients and their families can become educated regarding the surgery before it happens.
“Such 3D models help us to explain the nuances of the surgery to the patient. Also, junior surgeons and students learn better. We have also developed a stimulator, which is patient-specific that allows the doctor to operate on the 3D model before operating on the real organ,” said Dr Gill, who has already performed 30 surgeries where the 3D printing of the organ was done prior to the surgery.
He also did a study on how using 3D printed models of organs—not surprisingly—had a very positive effect on helping patients understand their diagnosis as well as the impending surgery.
Currently, this is definitely still an evolving part of the surgical process around the world, and patients or surgeons have to eat up the cost as insurance companies will not recognize the expenses involved with making and using the 3D models.
While one 3D print for this sort of procedure is not inexpensive, at around $500, to ensure a better outcome, it would certainly seem to be worth the expense. Surgeons certainly agree that the use of the 3D printed models can greatly improve the outcome of the surgery.
Also in Mumbai, at the Mulund Fortis Hospital, doctors again used a 3D printed organ—this time, a heart—to successfully perform a very complex surgery on a little girl who had two holes in her heart, as well as a misplaced aorta. Her surgeon had this to say:
“This gave us a clear idea on what we should expect on the operating table. We surgically uprooted the aorta, along with a muscle of the right chamber of the heart, and placed it on the left chamber, where it naturally should be,” said Dr Vijay Aggarwal, pediatric cardiac surgeon.
Not only that, the surgery was even more momentous in that the surgeons used a conduit made of a cow’s jugular vein, inserted to work as the pulmonary artery that was hardened in the child’s heart.
All of these innovations point to incredible progress in the medical field, as well as new and complex surgeries and training techniques—all of which will continue to evolve along with 3D printing technology as new hardware, materials, and processes come about. It will also be interesting to see how long it takes insurance companies to come about in terms of paying for 3D printed models that help so much in preparation for procedures. Discuss in the Mumbai 3D Printed Surgical Models forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: Hindustan Times]
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