3. 3D-printed presurgical modelsThe Mayo Clinic was one of the first healthcare providers to use 3D printing to create models for presurgical planning, according to Wehde. It started about a dozen years ago with two surgeries involving conjoined twins. The work moved out of the Division of Engineering in 2013 to a new Anatomical Modeling Lab that is on track to produce about 3,000 models this year.
The models are incredibly valuable because surgeons are tactile and want to go beyond imaging to get an idea of size and scale before engaging in a complex procedure, Wehde said.
“These models were so successful in providing better outcomes and improving the patient care that we have now decided we’re going to do these on a regular basis whenever we have particularly complex surgeries,” Wehde said. “This is something we’ve done for the last decade without reimbursement.”