3D printing for preoperative planning and surgical training: a review.Biomed Microdevices 2018; 20(3):65BM
Surgeons typically rely on their past training and experiences as well as visual aids from medical imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) for the planning of surgical processes. Often, due to the anatomical complexity of the surgery site, two dimensional or virtual images are not sufficient to successfully convey the structural details. For such scenarios, a 3D printed model of the patient's anatomy enables personalized preoperative planning. This paper reviews critical aspects of 3D printing for preoperative planning and surgical training, starting with an overview of the process-flow and 3D printing techniques, followed by their applications spanning across multiple organ systems in the human body. State of the art in these technologies are described along with a discussion of current limitations and future opportunities.