Exploring the Impact of 3D Printing on Pre-Surgical Planning for Thoracoabdominal Tumor Removal

We evaluated the impact of 3D modelling and printing on surgeries for removing tumors in the chest and abdomen area, focusing on physician confidence, patient education and consent, and care team communication.



3D Printing


3D modeling has been explored as a useful tool in several areas of healthcare. However, there is limited research on its use for supporting pediatric surgeons and healthcare teams in preparing for removing tumors in the chest and abdomen area – also known as the thoracoabdominal area. We know that 3D modelling is helpful for surgeons in other medical specialties to recreate complex body parts for learning complicated anatomy and practicing their surgeries. We would like to explore how this applies to thoracoabdominal tumours, specifically how doctors are using the models in their planning processes and discussions with patients.

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Surgeons treating patients with thoracoabdominal tumours are invited to submit a requisition form for 3D models. Doctors and the clinical care team will then be given a survey about benefits of the models, as well as their potential impact. We will also be studying the costs of using 3D modelling in the treatment process.

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Potential Impact

We believe that 3D modeling could be used to improve communication among cancer care teams, which could help support patients and caregivers in complex cancer cases. This study, and physician survey specifically, will help develop knowledge about 3D printing, ongoing quality improvement, and improve understanding on how 3D models can play a useful role in medicine.

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