Doctors 3D Print Patient’s Skull to Prep for Complex Surgery

3d-printed-skullA high school student presenting with a complex tumor that had spread throughout the sinuses and deep into the skull stumped surgeons at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The problem was that even visualizing the tumor and whether it was operable couldn’t be done with tradition approaches. In order to assess whether minimally invasive surgery could access all of the tumor, the surgeons took the opportunity to print a 3D model of a part of the patient’s head on which they could test what is and is not possible.

Printed using the commonly used polylactic acid, the model allowed surgeons to plan the operation so as to avoid damaging nearby nerves and to minimize blood loss. They succeeded in extracting the two tumor sites, which they later compared with the 3D model and demonstrated that the two matched almost exactly.


About Peter Coffaro 1134 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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