Case: A patient presented with a paranasal sinus tumor. Their surgeon was concerned as the tumor was present in the frontal sinus of the skull, which could require an invasive procedure. The 3D printed model was requested to help the clinical team to plan the best course of action to remove the tumor, whether to operate via the nose or through the front of the skull.
Model details: This 3D model was produced in clear-color contrast (with the bone printed in clear and the tumor in green) on the Formlabs Form 3 printer. Two models (one split on axial plane, the other sagittal) were delivered to the surgeon.
Outcomes: Initially the surgeon had intended to do an osteopathic flap to remove the tumor in the frontal sinus. On receiving the model he was able to plan and carry out an entirely different, more conservative procedure. This resulted in a better outcome for the patient as they did not have a noticeable lasting scar on their face. In addition, having access to the model also enabled the surgeon to reduce planning time by 20 minutes, and time in the operating theatre by over 60 minutes, subsequently reducing the time in post-surgery care and giving the patient a better experience overall.
In a review of the procedure, the surgeon noted a significant cost-saving for the hospital. This is in line with a recent study carried out into the use of 3D anatomical models for pre-operative planning. Research into seven different studies showed 62 minutes of surgery time saved per case, equating to $3,720 of surgery costs savings. The surgeon is now planning to publish a case report in the Ulster Medical Journal, due by the end of 2020.
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