3D planning and simulation used at Barcelona Hospital to resect tumor and save child’s eye


The maxillofacial surgery and oncology team at SJD Children’s Hospital Barcelona carried out the planning and 3D simulation of the resection of a tumor in the cheekbone of a young patient, thus saving the eye of the child.

The operation was a complicated procedure to resect the malignant tumor in the 11-year-old boy. Planning and simulation took place with BCN3D3D printing technology. An image was created from the patient’s skull, which was then printed in the hospital’s 3D printing lab. Creating the two 3D pieces of the patient’s skull was essential for doctors to perform the extraction with maximum precision.

The team used a BCN3D Epsilon series W27 3D printer. The printer’s double extrusion head and the amorphous ABS polymer used, provided the necessary realism to the doctors to implant the actual surgical intervention based on the exact resection of the entirety of the child’s ocular tumor, facial osteosarcoma.

“Today, 3D planning at the SJD Children’s Hospital in Barcelona is standard practice in maxillofacial surgery, especially in very complex cases like the one we treated in this child,” said Dr. Josep Rubio, head of the hospital’s maxillofacial surgery unit. .

Dr. Rubio explained the process in detail: “We had to create cutting and positioning guides to transfer the virtual planning from the computer to the OR. This allowed us to execute what we designed virtually with precision so that we could extract the safety margins next to the tumor as we had previously designed.

Dr Adaila Valls, Maxillofacial Surgeon at SJD Children’s Hospital Barcelona, ​​said: “3D printing has helped us avoid potential postoperative complications and has improved quality for the patient and the surgical process. After weeks of surgical planning, we were able to achieve a complete resection of the lesion while preserving the patient’s vision. »

The patient, Andrés, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma when he was 11 months old. He was treated at Barcelona Hospital in 2016 and recovered from the first tumor after two years of treatment.

However, as Andrés carried the germline gene, doctors told his parents that the boy might be suffering from a type of cancer in his bone system, which eventually happened later when he developed facial osteosarcoma. .

The treatment plan included carrying out chemotherapy for three months, before a fundamental part of the treatment, controlling the lesion, began.

At SJD Barcelona Children’s, 3D printing is used in more than 200 surgeries per year. They started using the technology in 2013 after a doctor specifically requested a biological model to complete planning for a complex oncology case. Since then, a multidisciplinary group has been created of nine different specialties that benefit from 3D printing.

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