“Imagine you are a surgeon going to perform a resection of half of a liver for a transplant and you are actually provided with a 3-D model of the liver you will encounter the next day,” says Nizar Zein, MD, Chief of Hepatology and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Cleveland Clinic. “You can look at the 3-D ‘printout’ and plan your surgery.”
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This technology exists. Working with Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute’s Medical Devices Unit, Dr. Zein has built more than 20 of these liver models to date – in a flexible resin with internal lumen geometry generated from a reconstructed CT scan – to improve surgical planning and training.