For surgeons dealing with lung tumors, having the right information at the right time is critical. With only access to current 2D medical imaging, precision and confidence can often be suboptimal, meaning desired patient outcomes can be threatened – and in some cases, this can be a matter of life and death.

Typically, ahead of these complex robotic procedures, clinicians will reference a patient’s CT scan as a team to identify the entire vessel tree and arteries in order to plan the safest way to remove the tumor from the patient’s lung. This is a time consuming process, often exacerbated by the variability between each surgeon’s interpretation of the CT scan, so is typically organized well in advance of the planned procedure.

To complicate things further, even with the required CT scans, they often won’t provide all the information needed to be fully confident in the resulting plan, such as was the case here, which results in real clinical risk.

In this specific case, surgeons at one of the UK’s largest NHS Trusts were dealing with a pulmonary lobectomy procedure. Due to their uncertainty about how best to proceed, having relied on the CT scan up to this stage, they requested a patient-specific 3D image of the patient’s lung and tumor less than 2 hours before the procedure was scheduled to begin. In spite of these demanding timescales, 90 minutes later, they had the required 3D image and were urgently using it to plan the imminent procedure.

As truly a world-first for this type of procedure, Axial3D was able to produce the interactive 3D render in a matter of minutes (rather than hours) and send the 3D image to the hospital. This meant that the surgeon and her team had a fully interactive model on a laptop to both urgently finalize a plan they could be confident with and have constant access to the model during the procedure to act as a reference point.