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Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2019 Jan 1;11:29-37.

Three-dimensional printing as an educational tool in colorectal surgery.

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Propaedeutic Surgery Department, AHEPA University Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece,
Department of Radiology, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals, UK.
Propaedeutic Surgery Department, AHEPA University Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Composite and Smart Materials Laboratory (CSML), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, GR-45110 Ioannina, Greece.
Department of Surgery, Papageorgiou University Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Department of Emergency Medicine, INSELSPITAL, Universitatsspital Bern, Schweiz, Switzerland.
Department of Innovation, Global Biomedical Technologies, Inc., Roseville, CA, and Stroke Diagnostic and Monitoring Division, AtheroPointâ„¢, Roseville, CA, USA.


3D printing is a rapidly advancing technology which represents a significant technological achievement that could be useful in a variety of biomedical applications. In the field of surgery, 3D printing is envisioned as a significant step in the areas of surgical planning, education and training. The 3D printed models are considered as high quality and efficient educational tools. In this paper A randomized controlled trial was performed to compare the educational role of 3D printed models with that of the conventional MRI films in the training of surgical residents. Statistical analysis revealed that Resident surgeons who studied only the anal fistula printed models, (Group B) achieved a higher overall score in the fistula assessment test (87,2 (82,6-91,6)) compared to resident surgeons (Group A) who studied only MRI images (74,85 (66,8-73,5)).  3D printing technology can lead to improvement in preoperative planning accuracy, followed by efficient optimization of the treatment strategy. It is believed that 3D printing technology could be used in the case of various other surgical applications, thus representing a novel tool for surgical education.


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