This is not the first time that we are hearing that a patient’s eyesight is being saved with the help of 3D technology and it’s absolutely not an overstatement that the limits of 3D printing are increasing day by day.
3D printing nowadays is becoming more useful for human beings to save their life with the help of accompanying technology like 3D scanning and modeling which is very helpful in providing solutions to difficult human problems which is certainly in the case of medicine.
One patient with a life and sight-threatening tumor was the beneficiary of a revolutionary surgical procedure that involved 3D scanning, modeling, and printing as well as successful collaboration.The National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR) , a leading design and research institute within Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales (UK), has recently engaged in a close collaborative relationship with a maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Satyajeet Bhatia from the University hospital of wales in Cardiff to establish a safe surgical plan involving 3D scanning, modeling, and printing for a patient diagnosed with a bone tumor. The tumor was invading the orbit, the cavity in the skull where the eye and its appendages are located, and was applying pressure to the optic nerve and endangering the patient’s eyesight.
In operation for over 20 years, PDR comes with a combination of high quality research activity and consultancy and also starves to prosper day by day with new product designs, developing of an idea, then implementation of the idea.
While working in collaboration with Dr. Satyajeet Bhatia the overall objective of PDR was to come up with a very good product idea as well as the idea of implementation to improve the accuracy, predictability, and surgical procedures. The surgical plan included creating a surgical cutting guide that would help Dr. Bhatia to reconstruct the affected area of the skull using a 3D printed custom titanium multipart implant.
The process began with PDR providing a medical model of the patient’s skull, which they produced using the data from the most recent scan. Dr. Bhatia used the model as a visual and a tactile aid as he consulted with neurosurgical and ophthalmology colleagues. As a team, they mapped out the margins of the area where they would be excising the tumor. The PDR design engineers applied that information to the creation of a 3D virtual model of the patient, which they used to design the surgical cutting templates. The templates would identify the “anatomical landmarks” for the surgical procedure. This 3D virtual model gave the precised idea to the team of doctor’s about they are going to with, in real.
The next step was to create the three-part, reconstructive implant. The design team used the patient’s healthy orbit and associated anatomy to produce the implant. The surgery proceeded and was successful, thanks to the templates and the implant allowed Dr. Bhatia to create a high-tech, 3D printed “patch” for the portion of the skull that had to be excised along with the tumor. Thanks to this groundbreaking process, facilitated by PDR, the surgery went smoothly and the amount of time it would have required using more conventional methods was reduced considerably.
Dr. Bhatia commented on the collaborative effort with PDR and the use of 3D technology, including scanning, modeling, and printing:“By using these devices, surgery is now quicker and more accurate, patient outcomes are improved, and patients typically require fewer surgical interventions. This is because the research undertaken by PDR has negated much investigatory surgery, as planning and implant development now happens in a digital environment based on medical imaging data.”