Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth welcomes first 3D printer to help improve surgeries
QUEEN Alexandra Hospital in Cosham has installed its first 3D printer to aid surgeries.
The machine has been welcomed by Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust’s maxillofacial department, which treats diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and mouth, as part of a long-term goal to develop a 3D hub.
It uses patient CT and CBCT scans to print models of bones and soft tissue to help surgeons plan operations ahead, reducing theatre time and patient risk – as well as aiding student training.
Principal maxillofacial prosthetist Anna Veli said: ‘Previously, a 3D model could take up to two weeks to arrive from an outside supplier, so having a printer of our own has dramatically reduced that waiting time, as well as the cost.
‘Even more, the beauty of it is that it can print overnight and by the morning we have our 3D model ready to work on.
‘We can then use this to simplify things for our patients who are able to understand more about their surgery. The feedback we have had from our patients confirm that this helps them feel more at ease, when they give operation consent.
‘It also helps our surgeons to better visualise how an operation could go, which reduces stress, and the theatre time. They feel they have already completed the operation before they even enter the theatre room.
‘We have had a few cases where the surgeon had to “change” their plan after seeing the 3D model, something that they feel it is a great tool to avoid the unexpected.’