Both augmented reality (AR) and 3D printing have been used by surgeons over the past decade, as teaching tools for medical schools and as patient-specific 3D maps for performing surgeries. These 3D models are processed from a patient’s anatomy using dense data captured from computed tomography (CT) scans. But rarely are 3D printing and AR used in concert by surgeons to improve the accuracy, quality and efficiency of surgeries.
Yet a team of doctors at Galilee Medical Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery recently performed a repair of a fracture in the floor of an eye socket using augmented reality and 3D printing. A 31-year-old patient underwent surgery led by Prof. Samer Srouji of Galilee Medical Center’s Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The patient fractured the left eye socket of his face leaving him impaired with double vision and facial disfiguration.
In a statement to the Jerusalem Post, Prof. Srouji said, “The innovative technology utilizing a 3D printer and augmented reality resulted in both a particularly accurate execution of the operation, and a significant reduction in time.”
The patient received a 3D printed titanium plate based on a 3D model built from scanned CT data of the injured left socket area. The scan was an inverted version of the patient’s healthy right socket area, projected onto the injured left socket area with 3D software.
To position the 3D printed titanium plate correctly, one doctor used Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality glasses to overlay the 3D model of the titanium implant into position under the patient’s left eye socket. Overlaying the 3D models of the patient’s skull and the 3D model of the 3D printed titanium plate on the patient’s actual facial anatomy, doctors at Galilee Medical Center accurately positioned the implant into the existing bone structure. A brief video of the procedure below shows the utility of applying AR in the operating room.
After just 90 minutes, the surgery was over and, within a few days, the patient was released from the hospital. Following recovery of several days, the patient was released home. The patient’s follow-up CT scans revealed that the 3D printed titanium plate implantation was successfully placed without any complications.
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