3D technology helping veterinary surgeons perform complicated surgery

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3D printers are revolutionising the worlds of design and medicine.

3D printing allows the reproduction of injuries which are often confronted in the operation theatre such as bone deformities, complicated fractures and tumors.

Using 3D printers allows for much more precise studies of a patient’s body to be carried out than with conventional images.

The Hospital Veterinario Marina Baixa (hvmb) in Alfaz del Pi offers the 3D technology as a service.

Jose Rial, veterinarian and head of the hospital, said: “We make copies of a patient’s bones from the data obtained using computed tomography (CT).

“Once we get the copy of the bone we can make a proper pre-surgical plan and build a customised guide, also of plastic material, with our 3D printer.

“Then autoclaved (a chamber is used to increase temperature and pressure) we use it during the surgery. We can also use it for limb sparing surgeries and for example, in the reconstruction of the beaks of parrots and turtleshells.”

This service is also being made available to other veterinary centres that require anatomical models or osteotomy guides, where a bone is cut to shorten or lengthen it or to change its alignment.

Said Jose: “They only need to send us images in DICOM format, and with the appropriate software and 3D printer we can make an exact copy of the injury.”

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