Banner surgical CS
Case Study

Forming the Safest Surgical Plan

settembre 11, 2023

This case study is based on the work of Axial3D and was originally published on the Axial3D website. Axial3D’s cloud-based segmentation platform is used to convert 2D data into a 3D printed anatomical model. and demonstrates the potential of 3D visualization and 3D printing to improve outcomes for patients. 

Approximately 1 out of every 240 individuals are born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) in the United States every year. The origins of cardiac abnormalities like VSD remain unclear for most individuals. If left untreated, over time this anomaly can elevate the risk for other issues such as heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or stroke. Read this case study to explore how using 3D modeling helped this physician to: 

  • Save one hour of pre-operative planning time
  • Decrease operating room time by one hour
  • Enhance physician-to-physician communication before this intricate VSD operation

The Case 

A male patient presented with a hole in his ventricular septum, the partition that separates the heart’s lower chambers, allowing blood to flow from the left to right side of the heart. The hole in the patient’s heart resulted in oxygen-rich blood being redirected to his lungs instead of circulating to the rest of his body, causing his heart to work harder than usually necessary. 

The Solution  

A procedure that involves intricate anatomical structures demands extreme precision. Before the procedure, the lead doctor wanted to understand the precise state of the patient’s heart and VSD. He requested a 3D model to ensure that he could see the most realistic example of the patient’s heart. 

The 3D model became an indispensable tool for the physician, revolutionizing the planning process for this case. After reviewing the replica, the physician proposed an entirely new surgical strategy. He was able to confirm that this strategy was the safest option much more quickly because of the 3D model — an entire hour more quickly, in fact. 

Advantages of the 3D Model 

Additionally, the team was also able to use the model to rehearse the procedure beforehand. The extra practice helped the team save 60 more minutes during the actual operation, as the physicians had a clearer understanding of the relationship between the anatomical structures and VSD.

This 3D model revolutionized the patient’s journey. It decreased the amount of time spent on the operating table, which lowered his risk of infection and complications and gave the physician insights that altered the course of the procedure and ensured a successful outcome on the first try. 

Printing 3D Anatomical Models with Axial3D and Stratasys Technology 

Stratasys has partnered with Axial3D to make patient-specific 3D models and images easily accessible and affordable for hospitals and medical device companies around the world. Axial3D’s 510(k)-cleared segmentation process converts DICOM data into 3D visualizations, and Stratasys printers can then be used to produce anatomical models for pre-operative surgical planning and diagnostic use. 

Patient-specific 3D printing technology for pre-surgical planning provides the most comprehensive preparation for surgical procedures, helps standardize delivery of care, and adds an invaluable tool to a precision medicine arsenal.