Mark Frame, a trainee surgeon, has saved U.K.'s NHS thousands of pounds by taking advantage of 3D printing technology. He found that 3D printing can print CT scans into real objects, that means bone models can be printed for surgeons to use. In the old time, bone models cost almost the same as the surgery itself, so expensive that they are not made for patients' cases.
Mark Frame used open source OsiriX software to convert CT scans into stl files for 3D printers. He contacted a 3D printing service company in Netherland and in a week, he got his package. The first plastic model he received was a child's forearm, and it costs $130. The traditional way of making model by specialist manufacturers costs month to complete the model, and cost is also much higher, at least more than $2000. The models can be used for doctors to have better preparation for complex operations.
This time Mark Frame has made a 3D printed model for Myra Hair's complex hip operations, a 79 years old lady. The operation was very complex, even one of the most difficult for the doctor. But with the help of 3D printed model, the operation was successful. Mrs Hair has now a quite good condition and very happy that she can benefit from Mark's money-saving scheme. She said: "I was amazed. Absolutely amazed. And I'm getting on fine. I've had virtually no pain since the operation."
Since surgeons at hospitals in UK has started using 3D printed models for surgery, in no time other hospitals will also apply this cost-saving ideas that patients and hospital can all benefit from.
Mark has written a guide so that other surgeons can make their own bones which is being considered for publication by the World Journal of Science and Technology. He has also a twitter account for contacts: @3DbonesSource: BBC
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