3D Printing Helps Cure Woman’s Brain Aneurysm
With a 3D-printed replica of a brain aneurysm in front of them, surgeons were able to test several surgical procedures that could have been fatal if performed on Teresa Flint.
According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, 500,000 people die from aneurysms each year. Teresa Flint was lucky hers was caught in time, and she was luckier that a 3D-printed model helped her surgeons pre-plan the dangerous procedure.
Researchers at the Jacobs Institute images of Flint’s CT scans to 3D print a life-size replica using Stratasys’ TangoPlus material, a flexible photopolymer that mimics the look and feel of human tissue and its vascular structure. With the realistic replica of the aneurysm in front of them, the surgeons were able to test several surgical procedures that could have been fatal if performed on the patient.
“Our original plan was to treat her aneurysm with a metallic basket – delivered into the area with a tiny tube,” said Dr. Adnan H. Siddiqui, Chief Medical Officer at The Jacobs Institute and Director of Neurosurgical Stroke Services for Kaleida Health. “After attempting the procedure on the 3D printed replica, we realized it just wasn’t going to work. “Based on the Stratasys 3D printed model, our team was able to pre-empt potential complications and devise a much more optimal means of treating Teresa’s aneurysm.”
Once that optimal procedure was decided on, the surgeons replicated it inside Flint’s brain in a procedure that took about 45 minutes as opposed to three or four hours, which Dr. Siddiqi estimates would have been the length of the surgery without the prior preparation.