November 8, 2015 – 3-D Printing Used to Determine if Mass Would Obstruct Newborn’s Airway
The life-saving applications of 3D printing are, now, no longer surprising. In fact, 3D printing patient-specific models is now becoming regular practice for surgical preparation. Now, however, a team of Michigan doctors has used the technology to help diagnose a medical concern before the patient was even born.
Reported in Pediatrics, Michigan doctors took note of a large mass on the face of a fetus belonging to a 22-year-old woman in the 30th week of her pregnancy. With a traditional MRI scan, the team was unable to determine the exact nature of the mass. Concerned that the mass would block the baby’s airway at birth, the doctors relied on 3D printing to further diagnose the issue, in the event that might need to prepare for intubation upon delivery.