Northwell Health doubles down on 3D printing from Formlabs to provide fast, realistic 3D surgical models

Oct. 5, 2018

Formlabs and Northwell Health announced that the automated 3D printing system Form Cell has been incorporated into Northwell’s 3D Design and Innovation Center to increase production of patient-specific anatomical models and surgical guides.

Northwell Health—New York State’s largest healthcare provider with 23 hospitals—has already used Formlabs’ standalone Form 2 3D printers in its 3D printing lab, but looks to increase production with the Form Cell, an automated 3D print production solution. Personalized models provide surgeons with more effective preparation, offering a hands-on opportunity to get a feel for patient anatomy, and pre-fit equipment before entering the operating room. During orthopedic or oncologic procedures, surgeons are now able to use patient-specific, 3D-printed surgical guides, which help with precise excisions of tumors or drill depths for optimal screw insertions.

The benefits of the partnership are evident to Barnaby Goberdhan, whose son, Isaiah Onassis Goberdhan, age 7, recently utilized a 3D printed model of the youngster’s palate to physically visualize the procedure and talk through the surgery. Mr. Goberdhan visited a Northwell Health physician because his son had trouble breathing through one of his nostrils. The checkup revealed an aggressive tumor in his palate and nasal cavity. Isaiah needed surgery to remove the tumor, so the family met with Neha A. Patel, MD, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY.

Dr. Patel worked with Todd Goldstein, PhD, and his 3D Design and Innovation Center to develop the 3D model for Isaiah. From Isaiah’s CT and MRI scans, Dr. Goldstein was able to create a personalized 3D rendering of his mouth and nasal cavity. Dr. Goldstein used Formlabs industry-leading 3D printing technology to print an anatomical model with the tumor in place as well as removed.

A recent study based on Northwell Health data shows the use of 3D printed models or surgical guides for complex cases can reduce time in the operating room by at least 10%. This shows significant savings, for instance, assuming 10-15% of select surgical cases could use a 3D printed model or guide, the annual operating room cost avoidance for 1,150 annual cases would be approximately $1,750,000. Based on these findings, within four years models printed on the Form Cell could save Northwell Health approximately $7 million in operating room time alone.

Now with the Formlabs Form Cell, Northwell will be able to scale production of anatomical models and surgical guides, bringing this pre-planning and explanation capability to even more patients.

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