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3D Printer Lets Doctors Practice Complicated Brain Surgery

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized
 
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File this under: AMAZING. Or maybe, “We’re living in the future!”  3D printing can literally save your life.

Doctors have partnered with 3D printing company Stratasys to reveal an incredible advance in medical technology. They used a 3D printed model of a brain aneurysm to help prepare for life-saving surgery on a mother of three.

3D-printing-aneursym

An aneurysm is a weak area within an artery that fills with blood and creates pressure. One mistake and patient could suffer a fatal or permanently debilitating brain bleed.

3D-printing-aneursym-2

Doctors were able to use an image of the aneurysm from her medical scans to make and print an exact replica of her brain vessels from tiny plastic fibers.  Each patient has a unique vascular anatomy in their brain, so knowing what you’re actually facing is a game changer. By experimenting with the models, the surgical team learned their original plan to treat the aneurysm with a metallic basket delivered to the area with a tiny tube wasn’t going to work.  Doctors were able to test out a number of methods before going ahead with the surgery.

This allowed them to avoid dangerous complications when performing the surgery on Teresa Flint, who is pictured below holding a replica of the aneurysm that almost killed her.

patient-model

You can watch a video on how they did it by clicking here.

3D printing offers medical professionals a way to try out approaches to complicated surgeries that aren’t available any other way.

~ Cynthia

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