There may not be any location we cover more frequently in the 3D printing world than Dubai. 3D printing is becoming deeply integrated into just about every facet of society in the UAE city-state, and lately that has been especially evident in the medical field. Recently, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) made headlines when it fitted a woman with the UAE’s first fully 3D printed prosthetic leg, a few months after announcing its plans to have all of its hospitals using 3D printing in 2017. That was no empty promise, as the DHA’s hospitals appear to be moving forward with 3D printing at full speed.
Recently, a 60-year-old woman from Oman was admitted to Rashid Hospital in Dubai with a serious condition: a cerebral aneurysm, which caused severe bleeding in her brain. After taking X-rays, doctors discovered that the aneurysm was in not one but four veins, complicating the situation greatly. Surgery to correct the condition would be risky; the surgeons needed to figure out exactly how they could safely reach the arteries before beginning the operation.
That’s when 3DVinci Creations stepped in. The three-year-old company has the distinction of being the leading 3D printing service bureau in Dubai – an impressive accomplishment in a city that’s known for 3D printing. 3DVinci Creations offers 3D printing in over 18 materials, and works with a range of industries including architecture, education, jewelry and more. The company’s medical 3D printing capabilties, however, were of the utmost importance in this particular case, and 3DVinci Creations came through, delivering a complex 3D printed model of the patient’s brain and its dilated arteries.
Suneel Kashyap, Sales Manager at 3DVinci Creations, explained to 3DPrint.com how the service bureau and the hospital worked together to design and create the 3D printed model.
Having the 3D printed, sized-up model allowed the surgeons to study the problem closely and plan their course of action before the surgery, which took about six hours. Coils were placed to stop the dilation in the woman’s blood vessels, which was causing the bleeding. According to Dr. Abdullah Qasim, consultant and Head of Neurosurgery at Rashid Hospital, the surgery would have taken much longer without the 3D printed model, and it would also have been much riskier because the surgeons would have been going in with less clear understanding of the problem and less of an idea how to fix it.
“Further to a Second CT Scan with higher resolution slicing, based on the inputs about Region of Interest (ROI) from the Surgeon, we could construct the design Segmenting the DICOM image to a 3D STL model,” he told us. “3DVinci Creations generated the 3D virtual model of the anatomy (blood vessels in brain). The Surgeon sent us the pictures and video marking the ROI. A primary virtual 3D model was shared (3D PDF) and we could get more insights about disconnects of a cluster of basilar circulation vessels. We made the Surgeon understand about the challenges in 3D printing and introduced artificial connectors, thin cylinders of about 3mm diameter were designed to hold the two vessels.
Also, the Surgeon expressed to have a bigger model than the actual anatomical size, the cluster was scaled 5X. The Final Coloured STL model was exported after all the fixing and 3D Printed (The cluster was in red colour, the connectors were in blue and the bone was in off-white colour), upon Surgeon’s approval. We Provided the models for study – larger size and with higher resolution.”
“Due to the complexity and rarity of the patient’s case, we needed a 3D model that will allow us to understand exactly how we can reach the arteries in a safe way. This helps us reduce risk because we can’t imagine the problem without the 3D model,” said Dr. Qasim.
“Without the 3D model, the surgery would have taken longer. The risk would also have been higher because it would have meant conducting the surgery with limited understanding of the abnormality.”
With the 3D printed model, however, the surgery went smoothly, and the woman is recovering; MRI and CT scans showed that her blood is now flowing normally. 3DVinci played a crucial role in saving the patient’s life, and it likely won’t be the last time the service bureau assists in such a procedure – 3DVinci certainly hopes not, anyway.
“We are very happy that the Outcome of the Operation has been successful further to the 3D Printed Model provided by 3DVinci Creations and we would like to be at the forefront of this revolutionising technology,” Kashyap told us.
Discuss in the 3DVinci Creations forum at 3DPB.com.