6. 3D printed organs help educate patients about their surgeries
Doctors are using 3D printed models of organs to help ease patient anxiety before surgical procedures, according to Geisinger.
“We use a 3D printer to create an exact life-sized replica of an organ or bone so we can not only explain the specifics of surgical procedure to a patient but also prepare ourselves for a procedure based on a patient’s specific anatomy,” said Aalpen Patel, chairman of radiology at Geisinger Health System and medical director of the 3D Printing Lab, in a press release.
Patients who are due to have surgery will have a CT scan or MRI beforehand. Both scans offer detailed images of specific organs. Doctors use those images to make a 3D model with FDA-approved software and with a 3D printer. The 3D printer is able to print in multiple colors and life-like materials to create the most accurate models. Now, the doctor has a life-sized organ or bone that they can show the patient exactly what they are going to do during the procedure.