The Mayo Clinic shows us how they use 3D printing technology to treat patients


I spoke to Dr. Jay Morris, neuroradiologist at the Mayo Clinic, in a Facebook Live segment Tuesday from the RSNA industry conference in Chicago. Dr. Morris gave me a tour of the 3D printed models used to treat patients in institutions around the world.

The Mayo Clinic began using sophisticated 3D printing technology eight years ago to separate a set of conjoined twins. The surgeons had wanted a model of the twins’ internal organs and anatomy to study in advance of the complex surgery. Today, the technology is widely used, both at the Mayo Clinic and other medical institutions globally.

Dr. Morris explained that 3D printing technology is a breakthrough for surgeons working with tumours, for example, as physical models are far more useful than reading radiology scans. “An infant’s skull and a 60-year-old’s skull look the same on the screen,” he says. “But when a surgeon is working on a patient, they’re looking at a real life-sized object.”