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Improving surgical operations using the BCN3D Sigma 3D Printer

Thanks to the BCN3D Sigma 3D Printer, surgeons of the Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar are revolutionizing modern medicine by creating 3D printed replicas of organs and bones to practice before the operation and to better know what they are going to operate. This improvement in surgical planning allows to shorten the time of the operation and increase its effectiveness, as well as improving patient safety.


3D printing as a new method of work for surgeons

The Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar has a 3D printing laboratory in which they have a BCN3D Sigma 3D printer as a work tool for the manufacture of replicas of organs, bones or structures on which they will operate.

This new work method allows surgeons to improve surgical planning by obtaining 3D printed models that have been generated from radiological tests performed on the patient. These replicas offer great value prior to the operation since they facilitate the surgeon to practice before it as well as give him a better understanding of what is dealing with. The main value is about having the piece in his hands and analyzing the best options before going into the operating room.

Once the initial radiodiagnosis is made and we’ve 3D printed the piece, we are able to see the possible corrections that can be made during the operation. Therefore, many of these measures can be planned in advance” explains Juan Luis Belizón, delegate of the Government of the Junta de Andalucía in Cádiz. Some examples shown are a spine with scoliosis or a malformation in one foot.

Photo by Cadiz Noticias

New hopeful initiatives

The incorporation of this new technology in the hospital will result in a series of important improvements. The most striking improvement is the surgical planning thanks to pre-test the intervention before doing it. This allows to shorten surgical times and improve patient safety” says the managing director of the hospital center, Fernando Forja. In addition, another of the areas in which a new avenue of investigation is opened is in the realization of implants or adapted prostheses created specifically for the patient.

Another aspect in which the 3D printing laboratory of the Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar in Cádiz wants to work is in teaching. Until now it was based on standard anatomical models, but thanks to 3D printing, specific models of patients can be manufactured, which will allow a better training and preparation for students of medicine, nursing or physiotherapy, as well as residents or professionals that will do training courses.