BACKGROUND: The treatment of complex aortic diseases has known in the last years an extraordinary improvement, thanks to the development of new devices and techniques, especially concerning endovascular surgery. In this field, technological evolution has enabled vascular surgeons to overcome anatomical concerns and impairments that in the past made endovascular treatment unfeasible in many cases. However, the full exploitation of the devices offered by medical industry requires more and more powerful and accurate tools for case-by-case analysis and preoperative planning. Beside traditional imaging techniques, such as computed tomographic angiography (CTA), and virtual 3D reconstructions, an increasing interest towards 3D printing has been reported in the latest years. The purpose of this paper is to assess the actual value of this technology by reporting its use in 25 cases of complex aortic surgery.
METHODS: For each patient, we have 3D printed a preoperative life-sized model of the vascular aortic lumen, deciding and planning the most suitable procedure by its direct examination. After the intervention, we have examined the corresponding model printed derived from postoperative CTA to check the outcome and discuss possible further corrections, if needed.
RESULTS: All the cases for which a surgical or endovascular procedure was decided were treated successfully, in absence of major complications or intra-operative mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Optimal resolution of anatomical details and immediate comprehension of the most important technical aspects were reported by examining the models. 3D printing has proved a valuable tool in dealing with complex aortic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine