A consultative approach with 3D printing.
Turkey’s Dokuz Eylül University Hospital specializes in translational medicine, a discipline in biomedical research which aims to improve human health by using a collaborative approach to explore new diagnostic tools and treatments. Liver transplant surgeries in particular brought the challenge of an increasing number of donor deaths.
“Currently, liver transplantation is the only treatment option for both acute and chronic liver failure, with grafts for transplants supplied from cadavers via organ donation or from volunteer living donors,” explained Dr. Tufan Egeli, Staff Surgeon at Dokuz Eylül University Hospital. “However, cadaver grafts are inadequate to meet the increasing worldwide need for liver transplantation, which is why living donor operations have increased steadily. For these procedures, donor safety is of the utmost importance, so the ability to accurately evaluate liver anatomy and volume measurements of preoperative donor candidates is critical.”
The university was using 2D CT (computed tomography) data to visualize the anatomical
and vascular structure of the liver during the preoperative planning for complex liver transplantations. However, this presented shortcomings in that the data can only be viewed on a computer screen, limiting the practicality of pre-surgery planning. To improve patient safety and the success rate for liver transplants, the hospital sought a way to produce clinically relevant liver models that precisely replicate the patient’s liver. This would allow for pre-surgery planning that helps surgeons see and understand the exact anatomy in model form.