Interventional gastroenterology

3D printed wet organs could take surgery to another level

3D printing can overcome the limitations of conventional image-guided navigation, gastro2015 delegates have seen.

Dr. Maki Sugimoto, a surgeon and associate professor of gastroenterology at the Kobe University School of Medicine in Tokyo said the liver and pancreatic surgery procedures were complex and difficult to teach.

We can plan these complex surgeries using MDCT data of a patient’s bones, blood vessels or other organs but these applications in the operating room are generally limited to a relatively small number of procedures, he said.

So his team developed an anatomically accurate 3D printed bio-elastic wet organs for use in GI and HPB surgery.

Each wet model is given an injection of a synthetic resin that helps make it feel wetter and more lifelike for the surgeon as it can even bleed. 

The 3D organs can be used by doctors to practice surgery, using their actual tools, as well as help medical students practice alongside the real operation.

Patients are also able to understand their illnesses and treatment options if they can see and touch models that look exactly like their own organs, he said.

A life sized liver costs $1000 AUD, Dr Sugimoto told delegates.

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