Recently, the medical team of the Colorado Fetal Care Center in the United States successfully completed a case of intrauterine surgery to prevent spina bifida in pregnant women with the help of 3D printing technology. Spina bifida is a common congenital malformation caused by insufficiency of the spinal canal during embryonic development. Spina bifida will cause severe impact on your baby's mobility, hydrocephalus, life-long incontinence, brain malformations and mental retardation. The consequences are very serious. Current surgery in the uterus is recognized as the best preventive measure for this disease. However, the risk of surgery is large, and the longer the operation time, the greater the risk the mother and child face. If the doctor can confirm the size of the fetal spine opening during the operation, and confirm the size of the suture, the operation time will be prolonged, resulting in an increased risk of surgery. The Colorado Fetal Care Center team has reduced valuable surgical time and reduced the risk of surgery with 3D imaging and 3D printing.
Before the operation, the doctors used 3D imaging and 3D printing to create a solid model of the surgical site where the fetal surgery needs to be performed, and to determine the size of the spine cleft, thereby planning the size of the patch that needs to be patched during the operation. The size of the crack is determined according to a customized model to design the size of the patch.
The application of 3D printing in medical treatment is becoming more and more popular. The pre-planned 3D printing model before surgery and the surgical guides required for precise surgery have become the necessary medical instruments for many complicated operations. With these 3D printing tools, doctors can know the affected area well before surgery, greatly improving the success rate of the operation.