3D Printing in Medicine

Part of the reason 3D-printed solutions are often cost-effective is the technology: the process involves building solid, threedimensional objects from a digital model, using additive processes in which successive layers of material are assembled on top of one another to build the desired object.

This process means that items can be assembled directly from a digital model, increasing precision and removing room for error. Moreover, it is distinct from older manufacturing techniques, which usually rely on removal (by cutting, drilling, chopping, etc.) instead of addition. These waste and extraction costs add up; 3D printing gets around those issues.

Health practictioners who would benefit from this are :

  • Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons
  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Orthodontist

Advantages of 3D Printing

Preoperative Advantages

  • Enables better understanding of the patient’s anatomy.
  • Enables the surgeon to pre-bend reconstruction plates
  • Makes it easier to communicate with the patient, thus getting their consent
  • Provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn

Intraop
  • Reduced operation time due to more extensive preparation for the surgery
  • Reduced costs. This is because the cost of the surgery has a direct propotional relationship with the time spent in theatre
  • Reduced wound exposure and thus reduced peri-operative risks*the “peri is a correct term*
  • Assists in interdisciplinary communication and navigation.

Post operation
  • Reduced recovery time
  • Enables organic preservation of unique and interesting cases
  • Increases the success rate of the plates. With elimination of the bending and rebending, the plates do not suffer from weaknesses thus increasing their overall durability.

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