Feasibility of 3D printed salivary duct models for sialendoscopic skills training: preliminary report

Pietro Canzi, Pasquale Capaccio, Stefania Marconi, Giorgio Conte, Lorenzo Preda, Irene Avato, Federico Aprile, Michele Gaffuri, Antonio Occhini, Lorenzo Pignataro, Ferdinando Auricchio, Marco Benazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purposes: To explore the feasibility of 3D printed salivary duct models for the sialendoscopic skills training. Methods: Healthy volunteers and patients affected by obstructive salivary gland disorders were submitted to 3 Tesla MR sialography. The MR data underwent an image segmentation process to produce the 3D printed salivary duct prototypes. Sialendoscopies were carried out by three groups of investigators with different levels of endoscopic experience. Realism, usefulness of the training process and potential advantages of the 3D printed models in the preoperative surgical planning were evaluated by means of a specific survey. Results: Four cases were included in our study: one healthy parotid, one submandibular gland, one case of lithiasis and one of stenosis involving the parotid gland. In all cases, the three groups of investigators successfully explored the salivary ducts up to the tertiary branches, detected the cause of obstruction and correctly treated it. Seven untoward events occurred during the operative sialendoscopies. Overall, the questionnaire score was about 79.3%, reflecting a positive impression regarding the models on behalf of all the investigators. Conclusions: 3D printed salivary duct models resulted feasible for the sialendoscopic skills training. The opportunity to reproduce the patient-specific anatomy may add further information useful in the preoperative decision making. These positive results should be verified by further researches and experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-915
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 3D printing
  • Learning curve
  • MR sialography
  • Sialendoscopy
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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