Research presented at Euroanaesthesia 2021 suggests that using 3D printing and virtual reality can improve patient care and reduce equipment wastage and anesthesiologist stress.

 

The research was presented by a team from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. During the presentation, they reported the use of 3D technology to prepare for operations in 20 patients. Most of the patients involved in the study involved children undergoing lung surgery.

 

The team used imaging scans to print accurate models of patient airways on which to plan the procedures. The ability to see, hold and rotate a precise replica of the patient’s airway provided clinicians' information on the most appropriate airway equipment.

 

The researchers report that a 3D model can be made in only 30 minutes, and a single print can be turned around in 3-4 hours. 3D printing is not a new technology in healthcare and is already used in other specialties such as orthopaedic surgery, paediatric cardiology and dentistry. However, so far, the use of 3D printing and virtual reality is quite limited in anaesthesia.