UK-based medical 3D printing provider Replica 3DM has deployed Stratasys 3D printers in 12 National Health Service (NHS) hospitals to support the validation of patient surgery prior to an operation.

The use of the printers is believed to help reduce surgical procedure times, which in turn could lead to an overall decrease in theatre costs, according to Stratasys.

Stratasys Objet24 and Objet30 Pro 3D printers will help in converting patient CT scans into physical 3D printed models for use as surgical guides to test implants for size and fit pre-surgery.

The 3D printers help in the re-bending of titanium implant plates to the patient’s exact specifications and preoperative investigations across maxillofacial, orthopedics, neurology, spinal and ears, nose and throat wards, to identify the correct procedure.

"A 3D model equips surgeons with a hands-on perspective which cannot be achieved by looking at a computer screen."

Replica 3DM founder and managing director Matthew Sherry said: "To us, 3D printing and the medical profession go hand-in-hand, particularly in the planning of complicated procedures.

"A 3D model equips surgeons with a hands-on perspective which cannot be achieved by looking at a computer screen."

The ability to use 3D printed models to pre-bend titanium implants has reduced surgery time significantly, noted Sherry.

UK reseller SYS Systems has introduced the Stratasys technology to Replica 3DM.

Replica 3DM, which was established as a 3D modelling department of Salisbury District Hospital, has extended its medical 3D printing capabilities to NHS hospitals across the UK.