3D Printing Helps Save and Separate Conjoined Texas Twins - Shapeways Magazine
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3D Printing Helps Save and Separate Conjoined Texas Twins

Are you ready for the feel good story of the week? Do you have a few discrete tissues nearby? This story of Texas twins is sure to touch your heart.

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Photo Credits: 3ders.org

Surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital successfully performed a miracle procedure this week with the help of 3D Printing. Conjoined twins Knatalye and Adeline, were born last April and have spent their entire lives in the hospital. Now, mom and dad get to take them home, to separate beds. Having a 3D model of the twins shared body systems made all the difference, doctors said.

13 different medical specialties put their minds together to make this feat possible. Radiology was espcially critical to learning abou the twin’s anatomy in 3D. As Dr. Rajesh Krishnamurthy highlights, “having a 3D printed model gives you an insight into what you’re going to encounter (during surgery.)”  The 3D model of the twins interconnected organ systems and bones only took 6 days to complete. 3 days of radiology and imaging and 3D days to print. Doctors and Radiology Imaging specialists started with a high quality CT scan, translated that image data into 3D segmentation, color coded it, and converted it to .stl (just like you would to print with Shapeways.) They sent it off to a local printer in Dallas and viola!  Medical magic in 3D Printing.

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The ability to visualize the incredibly complicated surgery ahead of time, doctors were able to understand the vessel, organ and bone structure of the twins.

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After 18 hours of surgery, they were successfully separated. The entire procedure took 26 hours. The doctors at Texas Children’s are “very pleased” with the outcome.

If that doesn’t give you all the Tuesday feels… I’m not sure what will.

What do you think is 3D printing’s greatest medical application?

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