Application of 3D printing in medicine


“Application of 3D printing in medicine illustrated by planning a frontal sinus resurgery after endoscopic surgery complicated by rhinorrhea. “

The surgery was performed by a team of physicians using the state-of-the-art technologies recently used in medicine. Three-dimensional print technology allows for creating objects from pre-designed 3D simulations. Materials used in 3D printing for medical purposed are mostly plastics, steel, and titanium. Owing to 3D print technology models are developed to facilitate surgery planning. It is possible to create customized prostheses, or material for defect closure after extensive resections or injuries.

Authors of the study used the opportunity offered by creating a phantom for detailed planning of a frontal sinus resurgery. The previous endoscopic surgery was complicated by rhinorrhea. The middle nasal concha and ethmoid were removed, intrasurgical iatrogenic rhinorrhea was also provided. The above treatments caused scarring and changed anatomy in the patient, which greatly hindered the understanding of the nasal endoscopic surgery. Before the planned surgery, craniofacial bone structures were reconstructed based on CT scans using a 3D technology.

Thanks to cooperation with Sinutronic Sp. z o.o. from Gdańsk the team of physicians received a high-quality acrylic model of the patient’s scull. Before the surgery, surgeons familiarised themselves with the patient’s anatomy. Also, several points were marked to facilitate finding a narrowed frontal sinus outlet. Preparation of a pre-surgical 3D print to learn about the patient’s anatomy significantly reduced the time of surgery and raised the comfort and safety level. The presented clinical study is an example of huge opportunities offered by 3D print, which are to be applied on a larger scale in the near future.




CT before surgery

– shading of the left frontal sinus




Endoscopic view of the nose

before surgery

Endoscopic view of the 3D nose

model – the probe in the

frontal sinus outlet

Endoscopic intrasurgical view

of the nose – the probe

in the frontal sinus outlet