3D printed models are playing an increasingly significant role in surgical planning. Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforators (DIEP) are vessels that go through the abdominal muscles and feed the fatty tissue on top of it. This information helps the surgeons determine which portions of fatty tissue can be harvested for breast reconstruction. Until recently, The Stanford 3DQ Lab provided 3D rendering and measurements to assist surgeons to locate these critical vessels. Today, the 3D models printed by the 3DQ Lab provide the same information in a more convenient way. The surgeons now have the ability to bring the model into surgery for reference intra-operatively.

Figure 1: 3D printed model of the abdominal musculature and relevant blood vessels

The model (Figure 1) is comprised of the rectus abdominis (abdominal) muscle in translucent cyan, deep inferior epigastric perforators in magenta, and a 1 cm grid in white.

These models are printed using the 3DQ Lab’s Stratasys J735 printer, which uses a jetted photopolymer technology to lay down layer upon layer of a fully-customizable digital mix of six different materials. While these breast reconstruction models use cyan, clear, white, and magenta in various areas, the printer is also capable of mixing in yellow and flexible material.

For more information on the the DIEP breast reconstruction procedure, you can visit https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/autologous/diep.

Chris LeCastillo, R.T. (R) 3D Printing Lead Technologist

Chris LeCastillo, R.T. (R)
3D Printing Lead Technologist