Ghizoni E, Souza J, Raposo-Amaral C, Denadai R, Aquino H, Raposo-Amaral C, Joaquim A, Tedeschi H, Bernardes L, Jardini A. 3D-printed craniosynostosis model: new simulation surgical tool. World Neurosurgery. 2017,109:356-361



Craniosynostosis is a complex disease once it involves deep anatomic perception, and a minor mistake during surgery can be fatal. The objective of this report is to present novel 3-dimensional–printed polyamide craniosynostosis models that can improve the understanding and treatment complex pathologies.

The software InVesalius was used for segmentation of the anatomy image (from 3 patients between 6 and 9 months old). Afterward, the file was transferred to a 3-dimensional printing system and, with the use of an infrared laser, slices of powder PA 2200 were consecutively added to build a polyamide model of cranial bone.

The 3 craniosynostosis models allowed fronto-orbital advancement, Pi procedure, and posterior distraction in the operating room environment. All aspects of the craniofacial anatomy could be shown on the models, as well as the most common craniosynostosis pathologic variations (sphenoid wing elevation, shallow orbits, jugular foramen stenosis). Another advantage of our model is its low cost, about 100 U.S. dollars or even less when several models are produced.

Simulation is becoming an essential part of medical education for surgical training and for improving surgical safety with adequate planning. This new polyamide craniosynostosis model allowed the surgeons to have realistic tactile feedback on manipulating a child's bone and permitted execution of the main procedures for anatomic correction. It is a low-cost model. Therefore our model is an excellent option for training purposes and is potentially a new important tool to improve the quality of the management of patients with craniosynostosis.

Author's keywords: simulation, 3D printer, craniosynostosis, neurosurgery

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