Jul 13, 2017 | By Tess

Another positive tale for 3D printing in the medical field has come out of the UAE this week, as a 60-year-old woman successfully underwent treatment for a life-threatening cerebral aneurysm thanks in large part to a 3D printed model of her brain. The patient-specific 3D printed model enabled a team of surgeons from the Rashid Hospital in Dubai to carefully map out and plan the complex surgical operation.

The patient in question was brought into emergency to be treated for bleeding in the brain caused by a cerebrovascular disorder. Upon conducting an X-ray, the doctors found that the patient had actually suffered a cerebral aneurysm in four veins, which raised cause for alarm.

A 3D printed model of her brain was created to give the doctors a bit more insight into what they would be dealing with come surgery time. "Due to the complexity and rarity of the patient's case, we needed a 3D model that will allow us to understand exactly how we can reach the arteries in a safe way,” said Dr. Abdullah Qasim, a consultant and head of Neurosurgery at Rashid Hospital. “This helps us reduce risk because we can't imagine the problem without the 3D model.”

The 3D printed model was based on the patient’s brain with dilated arteries, and enabled the doctors to understand the intricacies and depth of the aneurysm. The surgery, an endovascular procedure which was led by Dr. Ayman Al Sibaei, an interventional radiologist at the Rashid Hospital, reportedly took six hours to complete, but was an overall success.

During the operation, coils were placed in the patient’s arteries to stop the dilation that was causing the bleeding. The move was a success: since the surgery, the patient has been recovering well in the ICU.

"Without the 3D model, the surgery would have taken longer,” explained Dr. Qasim. “The risk would also have been higher because it would have meant conducting the surgery with limited understanding of the abnormality. The patient is recovering well; we conducted an MRI and CT scan which found that blood is flowing normally.”

The 3D printed model itself was manufactured by 3DVinci Creations, a Dubai-based 3D printing company, which has supplied 3D printed anatomical models in the past. Its service, said Suneel Kashyap from 3DVinci Creations, “gives another dimensional perception, making it easier to extend patient diagnosis and plan the intricate steps of surgery by using the patient-specific anatomical model, reducing the risks and costs involved.”

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has been integrating 3D printing into medical services more and more. The initiative to adopt 3D printing for medical applications is part of the larger Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, which “aims to exploit technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by 2030.”

For now, the DHA is focusing its efforts on using 3D printing for the manufacturing of patient-specific anatomical models which can function as surgical guides, as well as low-cost prosthetics. Down the line, the plan is to use the technology for manufacturing custom implants and more.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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