3D Systems, Stryker Advance Personalized Surgery With 3D Printed Anatomical Models


The new technology allows surgeons to develop customized surgical plans prior to entering the OR.

Kevin McAlea, executive vice president, general manager, metals and healthcare, 3D Systems

Kevin McAlea, executive vice president, general manager, metals and healthcare, 3D Systems

Kevin McAlea

3D Systems and Stryker have announced an exclusive distribution partnership for virtual surgical planning (VSP) and anatomical models for the craniomaxillofacial specialty, which will enhance the availability of personalized surgical planning and techniques for healthcare professionals.

VSP technology received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) market clearance as a service-based approach to personalized surgery in combination of expertise in medical imaging, surgical simulation and 3D printing.

“With the advancement of 3D printing, combined with the surgeon’s ability to use our Virtual Surgical Planning and anatomical modeling technologies, a patient’s life can be forever changed,” Kevin McAlea, executive vice president, general manager, metals and healthcare, 3D Systems said in a statement. “It provides surgeons with the ability to have a clear 3D visualization of a patient’s anatomy and to develop a customized surgical plan prior to even entering the operating room.”

The technology will advance the field of personalized surgery, offering surgeons new 3D visualization capabilities for patients’ anatomies, aiding in the development of customized surgical plans, McAlea said.

Surgeons initiate the process, bringing clinical knowledge and a desired surgical plan to an online web meeting with a 3D Systems biomedical engineer to simulate and plan the surgical procedure. The planning session results in a digital surgical plan that is then transferred to the operating room in the form of patient-specific, accurate 3D printed anatomical models, guides, templates and digital tools.

The partnership between 3D systems and Stryker and the availability of personalized surgical planning, techniques and patient-specific anatomical models will decrease the time it takes for surgeons to operate on patients.

“This partnership allows us to better support the rapidly evolving needs of our customers and accelerate innovation in the area of personalized medicine,” David Mercado, vice president, general manager, Stryker, said in a statement.

The technology was utilized between November 2009—January 2011, treating 8 patients age 17–72 years old. The purpose of the study was to illustrate the utility of preoperative virtual surgical planning in fibula reconstruction of the mandible.

“The combination of mandibular and fibular cutting guides and templates allows for a precise and efficient surgical reconstruction,” Jill Sink, MSc, DDS, oral maxillofacial pathologist, Veterans Affairs Hospital, and researchers noted in the study. “In our experience, this technology is most useful in the reconstruction of large mandibular defects requiring large reconstruction plates and multiple fibular osteotomies.”

Each patient required segmental resection and reconstruction of the mandible of 5—14 cm in size, managed under presurgical virtual planning.

“Virtual surgical planning fosters multidisciplinary communication and provides accurate presurgical planning,” Sink added.

The agreement commences Feb. 1, 2018, and is specific to the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

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