The use of 3D printed anatomical models for surgical planning has a history going back more than two decades, but it has primarily been pursued by a narrow set of research hospitals. Recently, interest in these applications has grown significantly, as indicated by the number of published papers addressing the use of 3D printing in preparation for surgical cases. A review of the published literature reveals that almost 80% of the published papers on this subject were released in 2014 and 2015.
Worldwide, more and more hospitals are starting to implement 3D printing within their surgical planning processes. For example, Stratasys PolyJet-based 3D printing, with the ability to recreate virtually any anatomy while simulating both soft and hard textures, as well as full color, can be used in a variety of surgical specialties. To further maximize success and impact during surgical modeling pilot programs, hospitals should select the most appropriate procedural areas they target for initial usage. It is important to deliver both positive clinical and financial benefits to build support for fledgling programs.
Stratasys has conducted a review of the published literature and identified the surgical specialties most associated with the use of 3D printed models for surgical planning. We developed a framework to evaluate which procedures are most likely to yield the kind of impact that would warrant investment in 3D printing – examining applied data on clinical procedures, including reimbursement claims analysis, to measure the potential impact. These findings are summarized in a recently published white paper written by Scott Rader, PhD, General Manager, Healthcare Solutions, Stratasys, and Michael Gaisford, Director of Marketing, Medical Solutions, Stratasys, that is now available for download.