New research into the use of 3D printed anatomical models in surgery has found significant reductions in operative time and cost.

The rationale

The study, published in late 2019, was carried out to give an understanding of the cost-saving potential of 3D printed anatomic models and surgical guides in orthopaedic and maxillofacial surgical applications. A mean of $62 per operating room minute was calculated based on a range of $22-$133 per minute for the operating room time cost for the study.

The results

Seven pieces of literature documenting cost savings in the use of 3D printed anatomical models in surgical care were analyzed. On average, the use of a 3D printed model in surgical care resulted in:

62 minutes of surgery time saved per case, equating to $3,720 of surgery costs savings

Twenty-five pieces of literature documenting cost savings in the use of 3D printed surgical guides were analyzed. On average, the use of a 3D printed surgical guide demonstrated:

23 minutes saved per case, equating to $1,488 in cost savings

The research also notes that an estimated 63 models or guides per year (or 1.2/week) were predicted to be the minimum number to breakeven and account for annual fixed costs.

Axial3D service users have also reported significant time savings when using 3D printed models.

Recently, Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon, Dr. Andrew Bowey noted a saving of 120+ minutes in a complex spina bifida procedure.

Mr. Michael Eames, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Ulster Hospital also reported a saving of 200+ minutes with the insight provided through a 3D printed model.

Speaking on the procedure, Mr. Eames said, “Having a tangible scale piece of anatomy provides huge insight into the pathology not possible on conventional CT or MRI scans. Access to the model changed the standard treatment indicated by the CT scans for a 4-hour complex osteotomy to a simple, much less invasive 30-minute soft tissue procedure.”

Request a free 3D printed model today and realize the benefits of a 3D printed anatomical model for yourself

Original Research: Medical 3D Printing Cost-Savings in Orthopedic and Maxillofacial Surgery: Cost Analysis of Operating Room Time Saved with 3D Printed Anatomic Models and Surgical Guides
a Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 510 S. Kingshighway Blvd, Campus Box 8131, St. Louis, MO 63110
b Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana
c Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
d University of Illinois at Chicago Occupational Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
e Department of Radiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

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