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Three-dimensional printing of surgical anatomy

Powers, Mary K.; Lee, Benjamin R.; Silberstein, Jonathan

doi: 10.1097/MOU.0000000000000274

Purpose of review Over the past decade, three-dimensional printing for the medical field has been expanding rapidly throughout all of medicine. This manuscript reviews the current and potential applications for three-dimensional printing, including education, presurgical planning, surgical simulation, bioprinting, and printed surgical equipment.

Recent findings Three-dimensional printing has proved most relevant in the fields of craniofacial, plastic, orthopedics, and especially, urologic surgery. This review focuses on several examples of how three-dimensional printing can be utilized, with emphasis on renal models for renal cell carcinoma, ureteral stents, and staghorn calculus. From an education standpoint, both patients and residents can benefit from the use of three-dimensional printed models, and even skilled surgeons report better understanding of complex procedures by using printed models.

Summary Three-dimensional printing in the field of medicine is growing quickly, and will soon be incorporated into the way residents are taught and patients are educated. For surgical simulation in a variety of disease processes, this will be particularly useful for urologic surgery.

Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Correspondence to Benjamin R. Lee, Department of Urology, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Ave., SL-42, New Orleans, LA 70112-2632, USA. Tel: +1 504 988 2750; fax: +1 504 988 5059; e-mail:

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