Surgeon uses Axial3D’s Precision 3D Medical Modelling to Improve Pre-Operative Communication

3D printing in medicine
3D printing in medicine
Above: The split heart model/Image Credit: Axial3D

Axial3D, the medical 3D Printing Solutions Company has been a forerunner in offering the medical community with unique 3D printing and modelling solutions. This time the company, through its precision 3D medical modelling has offered a surgeon unprecedented insights that go well beyond conventional 2D patient scan data to help the surgeon plan well in advance for a complex surgical procedure.

The precision 3D medical modelling from Axial3D added a completely different perspective to the pathology and offered information that just could not have been possible to gain from a 2D image. The model was also incredibly helpful in improving pre-operative communication making the conversations between clinical teams and their patients more informed.


In this case, a 5 month old patient was on a surgical waiting list for an Arterial switch, VSD closure and Pulmonary artery (PA) debanding. He was also born with coarctation of the aorta, which was repaired at the time of the PA banding.


Ahead of the procedure, the surgeon requested a 3D model of the newborn patient’s heart from Axial3D. A total of 160 CT images were used to produce a split heart model, with a clear window requested by the surgeon to help obtain a better view of the pathology.

Commenting on how the model helped in planning for the surgery, the surgeon told Axial3D, “It is the best resemblance of the heart, which can sometimes change in appearance from looking at a CT to looking at the real life heart in theatre. Having the 3D model to plan in advance allows all members of the team to have the one view of the patient’s heart.”

The 3D model gave the clinicians additional information that could not be gleaned from CT images alone, well in advance of the procedure. This additional information provided by the 3D model was a key driver in helping the team to understand and ultimately change the original diagnosis, build an improved procedure plan, and was also useful in determining the choice of equipment ahead of the procedure.

Not only did the model transform the pre-operative planning process for the clinicians in this case, but it also created a better understanding of the procedure for the patient’s parents. The surgeon told Axial3D that the model was an excellent tool for giving the patient’s parents a better understanding of the pathology and surgical plan, and was incredibly useful in gaining consent from his parents, who were even able to hold the exact model of their son’s heart in their hands during these difficult discussions.

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