3D printing helps save life in Dubai

Doctors were able to save a 60-year-old Omani woman suffering from bleeding in the brain

Staff Report
17:16 July 12, 2017
NAT_170712 3D-printed model aid DHA

Dubai: Doctors were able to save the life of a 60-year-old Omani woman who suffered from bleeding in the brain with the help of a custom 3D-printed model of the patient’s dilated arteries in the brain to help plan the complex surgery.

The patient was admitted to the hospital after suffering from severe bleeding in the brain due to a cerebrovascular disorder named ‘cerebral aneurysm,’ in which the weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery causes a localised dilation of the blood vessel.

Dr Abdullah Qasim, consultant and head of Neurosurgery at Rashid Hospital, said that an X-ray found that the patient suffered from cerebral aneurysm in four veins.

“Due to the complexity and rarity of the patient’s case, we needed a 3D model that will allow us to understand exactly how we can reach the arteries in a safe way. This helps us reduce risk because we can’t imagine the problem without the 3D model,” said Dr Qasim.

After studying the model, Dr Ayman Al Sibaei, interventional radiologist at Rashid Hospital, conducted a six-hour endovascular surgery where he placed coils to stop the dilation.

Dr Qasim said the surgery was successful and the patient was transferred to the ICU where she is recovering.

“Without the 3D model, the surgery would have taken longer and the risk would have been higher because it would have meant conducting the surgery with limited understanding of the abnormality. The patient is recovering well, we conducted an MRI and CT scan, which found that blood was flowing normally,” he added.

Dr Mohammad Al Reda, director of the Department of Organisational Transformation at the DHA, said this is not the first time that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has conducted a complex surgery with the aid of 3D printing. The authority’s doctors have succeeded in removing a tumour from a patient’s kidney with the help of a cutting-edge aid — a custom 3D-printed organ to help plan the complex surgery last December. The authority has also provided a Dubai resident this week with the region’s first-ever fully 3D-printed prosthetic leg, a new innovation that could soon slash in half prices of costly conventional prosthetics.

“Whenever there is a complex case for a surgery, surgeons will inevitably have a complex procedure. They used to rely on medical imaging such as CT or MRI scan 2D data. Now, 3DVinci Creations can make complex anatomical models using the same data giving it another dimensional perception using 3D printing. It will be easier to study the extent of patient diagnosis and plan the intricate steps of the surgery by using the patient-specific anatomical model,” said Suneel Kashyap, sales manager at 3DVinci Creations.