3D Printed Liver Model Insure Safety Of Operation

Apr 17, 2020

“ I can't thank you enough! Prof. Zhang, let me bow to you to give my thanks again!” Last week, in People's Hospital in Zhejiang Provincial, Chen, who was preparing to go back home, deeply bowed to Prof. Chengwu Zhang.


3D Printed Model Helps Hepatic Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma Surgery.


Chen, 50-year-old, is a security guard. A month ago, he found that his skin turned yellow and his urine was getting dark. He came to People's Hospital of Zhejiang Provincial and was received by Prof. Chengwu Zhang, director of hepatobiliary surgery & minimally invasive surgery.  After several examinations including abdominal CT and biliary MRI, Chen was told that he had a lump in hepatic bile duct, which is considered malignant at first. But the lump is still small and could be surgically removed as it was found early.



Since Chen's jaundice index is more than 400, close to 20 times that of normal people, direct bleeding during surgery and liver failure after surgery may occurs when surgery is directly operated. Prof. Zhang decide to put a drainage tube in Chen's bile duct to drain the accumulated bile. After 3 weeks of drainage, Chen's jaundice index is normal for surgery.


In pre-operation conversation, Prof. Zhang introduced the operation to Chen in detail:” Chen is diagnosed with hepatic hilar cholangiocarcinoma. The lump lies in liver hilar, surrounded by major vessel branches. This operation is the most complicated one in biliary tract surgery as its difficulty and operation time. Our center can complete it by laparoscopic minimal invasive surgery rather than traditional open-abdomen surgery.”

3D reconstruction


“Adopting the most popular 3D printing technology, we have successfully printed a 3D liver model, which reproduces your liver and its lesion& vessel inside. It's like surgeons have an X-ray eyes and can clearly observe your liver during surgery, thus safely completing surgery.” Prof. Zhang took out a liver model and explain the operation in a simple and easy way.

3D printed liver


With the effort of Prof. Zhang and his assistant Doctor Liu, after 7 hours, Chen's operation is successfully completed and the entire procedure was completed under laparoscopy, with a total of less than of 100ml bleeding. 1 day after surgery, Chen could get out of bed; 2 days, Chen started eating and 6 days Chen was released from hospital.

surgery 1


Currently Prof. Zhang's team has applied the 3D printed model to clinical application. Comparing with previous 3D image and two-dimensional display, 3D printed model provides multi-angle observation of liver structure.  Surgeons can determine the surgical resection plane by adjusting 3D printed model, so as to play an intuitive and real-time navigation function for the key steps of the operation, thereby improving the accuracy of the operation. Radial tumor resection is achieved to effectively avoid surgical risk.


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