Terence Kurian
Head Biomedical & Projects
Zydus Hospital, Gujarat

Virtual surgical planning and 3D printing technology

Technology became an inevitable part of modern healthcare advancement. It is equally important to hospitals to invest on technology to improve their clinical outcome and brand value rather than conventional investments. Now healthcare technology takes a new leap to meet the dreams of surgeons. New generation surgeons are more inclined toward technology options than conventional methods.

Personalized surgical plan and 3D printing helps to derive the dream of surgeons to give personized patient care. The dream of previous decade has become a reality now. This is achieved by the adoption in technology of other industries and customizing them to meet the requirements of surgeon to overcome the hurdles in complicated surgeries and able to give more accurate clinical outcome to their customers. Virtual visualizing techniques helps surgeons plan and perform personalized surgical approaches for their customers. This helps reduce time for surgery, a more advanced planning improves the clinical outcome and overcome the hurdles during the surgery. This technology helps to provide a tailor made solution to the patients. However, getting it done for a surgery is a time consuming process. So trying to get it done in-house will reduce the time to provide this service and improve the accuracy of surgery. It also reduces cost to the hospital as well as improves the QALY-Quality Adjusted Life Year of the patient.

We can have three types of services which are beneficial to both surgeons and patients:

Virtual surgical planning. In this, a patient’s CT scan or MRI scan images are loaded into medical grade 3D software available with us. Experts in the anatomy field along with biomedical engineers create the 3D software model of the patient anatomy shared with surgeons. Surgeon goes through the same, takes the measurement with help of software, analyzes various surgical approaches and does a virtual surgery. It helps the surgeon plan better and reduce the time of surgery.

Designing and instrumentation. During the surgical planning, surgeon may need to create a customized guide, zigs, and other instrumentation to reduce the damage to the tissues with better accuracy than conventional instrumentation. These are possible with 3D printing technology. Material of Construction (MOC) need to be bio compatible for these type of instruments. Also they can create models of difficult anatomies, discuss with associate surgeons and plan better. Also it helps educate patients.

Implant manufacturing. 3D printing is the best way to create a quality implant for the patient. Biomaterial material is widely used for 3D printing. There are demands for tissue 3D printing also but that is still in research mode as of now.

Why do we require a PoC 3D printing?
It has great influence among oncosurgeon in the western world. It also gives better planning in terms of approach, device design and selection which in turn improves the accuracy and clinical outcome.

Outcomes
Accuracy. 3D visualization techniques help to see the anatomy of patient, identification of procedural challenges, design patient specific instrumentation, implement as per plan and achieve accuracy.

Efficiency. Virtual surgical planning assisted by technology experts helps to achieve better planning and reduced surgical time.

Patient benefits. Personalized surgical plan and customized surgery for the patient.

Customized surgical guides. It will give a better conformity with landmarks, precise-cutting, and drilling slots and accurate implant positioning.

Tailor-made implants. 3D printing technology helps to give a perfect customized individual fit implant with high efficacy and low revision rates.

Main 3D technologies are FDM (fused deposition modeling), SLA (stereo lithography), SLS (selective laser sintering). SLA and SLS are the main 3D printing technique for preparing intraoperative guides and instrumentation.

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