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RP in medicine: a case study in cranial reconstructive surgery

Sunil Gopakumar (Graduate Research Associate, Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, T.J. Watson School of Engineering, State University of Binghamton, Binghamton, New York, USA)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 1 July 2004

Abstract

During the repair of compound skull fractures or penetrating wounds to the brain, removal of significant portions of the skull may be required. Conventional prefabricated alloplastic implants require the use of complicated procedures during surgery, which can endanger a patient. Since prior rehearsals of the surgery are next to impossible, the surgery is usually complicated and lengthy. This paper aims to outline the importance of rapid prototyping (RP) in medicine, and also it details the use of RP for a cranioplastic surgery that was conducted in the South East Asian region. RP offers an easier way to design customized implants and manufacture them within a very short period. Rapid Prototyping can be used as an effective tool to generate complex 3D medical models from computed tomographic (CT) images. The models can be used for didactic purposes, as it helps the surgeons plan and rehearse the surgery well in advance. The RP prototype was used to successfully complete a cranioplastic surgery and realize the desired results. The operation time was also significantly reduced.

Keywords

Citation

Gopakumar, S. (2004), "RP in medicine: a case study in cranial reconstructive surgery", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 207-211. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540410539030

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited