With advancements in 3D printing, wide arrays of products are getting printed, and the technology is also being leveraged in the area of gynecologic surgery.
FREMONT, CA:Advances in medical imaging have resulted in several technologies which have had an immense impact on diagnosis, screening, obstetric care, image-guided procedures, and preoperative planning. Developments have also made it possible to obtain 3D constructs from 2D images. The same technology is also being applied to other surgical areas, and gynecologic surgeons are investigating the use of 3D printing in perioperative planning.
Why 3D Printing
With improving technology and decreasing cost, 3D printing is gaining momentum as wide arrays of products are getting printed, including weapons, clothing, toys, car parts, jewelry. Medical applications include organ scaffolds, surgical instruments, prostheses, and complex organ reconstruction for perioperative processes. 3D printing is leveraged for patient care in dentistry as well as several other surgical fields.
3D Printing in Gynecological Surgery Planning
When it comes to technology adoption life cycle, gynecologic surgery seems to fall into the laggard category or late majority as against the early adopters such as the field of dentistry.
Modeling in Gynecologic Study
As per a study by Aluwee, 16 volunteers reported on preoperative 3D printing of five uteri with endometrial cancer. MRI images were used to obtain standard tessellation languages (STLs) with 3D models subsequently printed. CT images of the models were matched to the patient MRIs and compared quantitatively. Surgeons considered the slight measurable errors to be acceptable and the models to be effective for perioperative planning. Both surgeons and the patients hailed 3D models to be an effective tool for patient education.
3D printing in gynecologic surgery has the potential to impact surgical decision-making and preoperative planning, counseling and patient education, and fellow/resident education. However, there are some major challenges that are hindering the widespread adoption of the technology into gynecologic surgery in its present iterations.
Future of 3D Printing in Gynecology
For some cases of deep infiltrating endometriosis impacting multiple organ systems, a multidisciplinary surgical team might consider 3D modeling effective for patient-specific preoperative planning. Other applications for 3D printing in gynecologic surgery include surgery for certain Müllerian abnormalities and myomectomies and surgery. 3D models of Uterus with varying consistency and colors can assist in a more thorough procedure. Additionally, a tangible model for multiple myomectomy cases can reciprocate the optimal location of hysterotomies, thereby minimizing unnecessary and inefficient incisions.