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3D Systems celebrates anniversary of conjoined twin separation surgery

Manufacturing Group | August 6, 2014

August 4, 2014, marked the 10th anniversary of successful surgery to separate conjoined twins Carl and Clarence Aguirre, joined at the head.

3D Systems celebrates anniversary of conjoined twin separation surgery

Rock Hill, S.C. – August 4, 2014 was the 10th anniversary of the successful completion of groundbreaking conjoined twin separation surgery that leveraged SLA 3D-printed models from 3D Systems' Medical Modeling.

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2004, surgeons at Children's Hospital of Montefiore, Bronx, N.Y., did what many believed to be impossible – they completed a successful separation surgery of conjoined twins Carl and Clarence Aguirre, joined since birth at the head. The complex surgery was carried out through a series of four separate operations, after a year of planning and practice. Surgeons credit advanced planning with Medical Modeling's anatomical modeling services in helping to make this surgery a success.

The surgical team, led by pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. James T. Goodrich, decided on a unique "staged" surgical approach. From October 2003 until August 2004, a series of four surgeries were used to gradually separate the vital blood vessels of the brain joining Carl and Clarence. Medical Modeling provided 3D-printed anatomical models prior to each stage of surgery up to and including the final separation procedure. The advanced models were created from the twins' CT and MRI data using 3DS' ClearView material to print life-size selectively-colored Stereolithography representations of the bone structure, with all critical brain blood vessels highlighted.

"The surgeons reported that the 3D-printed anatomical models were a key part of the surgical planning for this incredibly complex case and contributed to its positive outcome," said Andy Christensen, vice president of personalized surgery and medical devices, 3DS. "For more than a decade, 3D printed surgical models and virtual surgical planning services have changed the way surgeries are performed and in cases like this are dramatically impacting patient lives."

To celebrate the anniversary, the twins made an appearance at Montefiore Medical Center, alongside the teams who assisted in the surgery.

Today, as the surgical team and contributors are celebrating the twins' progress, 3DS advanced SLA 3D printers, are already in-use by the leading global hearing aid, dental, orthodontic, and medical device companies producing tens of millions of medical devices annually.

3DS' Medical Modeling continues to develop world-class clinical capabilities in Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP), guiding and instrumenting of complex personalized surgical procedures as well as production at scale of 3D-printed implants and medical devices. Last week, 3DS announced that it is acquiring Simbionix, the industry leader in 3D virtual reality surgical simulation and training. Simbionix brings 60+ interventional procedures across 8 specialties through 16 simulation platforms to 3DS' expanding healthcare portfolio, creating an unrivaled digital thread for medical procedures that extends from the training room to the operating room.

View a video explaining the surgery for the Aguirre twins.

Source: 3D Systems

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