The human body is a three-dimensional volume made up of thousands of complex structures, so a patient’s two-dimensional medical images, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans won’t always reflect the full picture during their treatment. This can lead to ambiguity and longer planning times for the surgeon, and increased anxieties and risk for the patient – neither of which are ideal when dealing with complex cancer cases.

With this recent case, a surgeon who was preparing a resection of liver cancer at one of Spain’s largest hospitals found these exact limitations with his patient’s 2D scans. Rather than proceeding with less than optimal imaging, or worse, having to postpone or cancel the procedure, he requested a precision 3D model from Axial3D to gain a better visualization of the patient’s condition and to better inform his decision making.

In a matter of hours, Axial3D had supplied the surgeon with a digital, interactive model of the patient’s liver and tumor, throwing new insight and precision into the mix, enabling him to accurately identify branches of the anatomy that were close to the tumor and form a precise plan that would allow him to resect the tumor safely.

Above: Images from the surgeon where he highlights the branches of segment V of the liver that were close to the tumor.

The procedure was carried out successfully, and thanks solely to the preoperative insights provided by the 3D model, the surgeon was able to avoid cutting key anatomical areas that could have caused serious injury to the patient and had a negative impact on his recovery.