3D printing technology and 3D modeling software are having a truly transformative effect on the medical industry and patient care. In a few decades it is very likely that 3D printers will be such a routine part of the typical hospital workflow that it would be virtually impossible to imagine how things were done before the technology was around to make surgeries faster and more precise. While we’ve all read some of the incredible stories about hospitals using 3D printed replicas of patients’ organs to train for or to plan complex surgical procedures, but in many ways that is still a novelty. A far greater impact on medicine is being felt by the rapidly increasing use of 3D printed surgical implants and customized surgical tooling.
Bodycad is a Quebec City-based developer and manufacturer of customized, 3D printed orthopedic implants and surgical tools. Their personalized restoration kits offer patients implants and surgical guides that have been created to conform to their unique anatomical structure. That means that their implants are more comfortable, will fit better and be far stronger than traditional implants. The Personalized Restoration Evaluation Process (PREP) was designed to provide doctors with fast and accurate surgical supplies that were created specifically for their patients, making the entire operation and recuperation process quicker, simpler and less painful.
The company has just announced that they are introducing a new service to complement PREP called Bodycad OnCall. It is a personalized, individually manufactured orthopedic restoration process developed specifically for complex surgical cases. Bodycad OnCall combines some of the most advanced 3D imaging and 3D printing technology to make even the most complex medical cases easier to correct. The process will help prevent poor implant fittings or reduce the amount of tissue that needs to be displaced while they are being implanted. Bodycad OnCall was created for surgeons who need flexibility in both design and the manufacturing of a fully personalized restoration kit that is ideal for oncology, revision or osteotomy procedures.
“With complex cases, anatomy can be compromised in an endless number of ways which makes off-the-shelf implants a sub-optimal solution. Bodycad OnCall allows us to customize the restoration with the goal of achieving better outcomes for the patient,” said Dr. Brian Hamlin, the Associate Director of the Bone and Joint Center of Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
PREP is managed by Bodycad PREP Techs, who work closely with surgeons and doctors to find and manufacture implants with the perfect anatomical fit for every individual patient. PREP Techs offer doctors and medical professionals both consultation and support while creating load bearing, joint articulation and orthopedic corrective implants. The entire process takes about 21 days from start to finish, which is far less time that it typically takes to create customized implants using traditional manufacturing techniques.
First, ultrasound, MRI and/or CT images are sent to the Bodycad PREP Tech who takes precise measurements of the patient’s anatomical features and then uses Bodycad’s Personalized Restoration Software to create an implant design that is optimized for the patient. Once the surgical team approves the geometry of the implant it is 3D printed at Bodycad’s own additive manufacturing facilities using medically safe, industry standard materials. The final implant, and a customized implant kit that includes 3D printed tools, surgical guides and braces, is shipped directly to the hospital for surgery. And Bodycad will also work with the surgical team if needed to ensure that the implant and kit are being used correctly.
“At Bodycad, we are changing the paradigm of joint restoration. A direct relationship between the surgeon and the prosthesis designer must be established, and mutual trust must be created, in order for a customized approach to deliver optimal results. Bodycad is pioneering this relationship,” explained the founder and CEO of Bodycad, Jean Robichaud.
The Bodycad additive manufacturing facility is maintained in-house so they can maintain tight control over the final 3D printed part quality and to insure that the implants and tools are medically safe. This also allows then to control costs as well as continually upgrade their facilities as 3D printing technology advances and improves. Currently the facility uses several 3D printing applications, including metal 3D printing, plastics and multi-color modeling and prototyping technology.
The Bodycad customized implants are ideal for complex bone damage and breaks, the removal of bone cancer tissue and the reconstruction of virtually any skeletal damage. You can find out more about Bodycad OnCall and their PREP services over on the Bodycad website. Discuss in the 3D Imaging & 3D Printing OnCall forum over at 3DPB.com.