Clinical application of three-dimensional printed models in preoperative planning of pancoast tumour resection

Wen Yi Yek, Yin How Wong, Chai Hong Yeong, Zhonghua Sun


The resection of pancoast tumours is a highly challenging procedure for cardiothoracic surgeons.  A patient-specific 3D printed model of the tumour may be useful as an adjunct to standard preoperative planning procedures.

This study aims to assess the clinical value of a 3D printed pancoast tumour model as a preoperative planning tool.

Two anonymised cases of pancoast tumours were obtained and one was chosen to be 3D printed. The model was presented to two cardiothoracic surgeons with more than 10 years of experience. Interview and questionnaire sessions were conducted to sought expert opinions about the clinical value of the model as a preoperative planning tool.

The participants agreed that the 3D printed model provides an accurate representation of the exact location of the tumour in relation to surrounding structures. The hand-held model also offers a tactile approach to preoperative planning, facilitating the planning of ports placement. The model is also potentially useful in team communication and patient education, leading to improved surgical outcomes.

This study has demonstrated the clinical value of a patient-specific 3D printed model of pancoast tumour in preoperative planning. Apart from enhancing the surgeons’ understanding of the anatomical location of the tumour, the model is also easily manipulated.  Future research could investigate the impact of 3D printed model on short to mid-term clinical outcomes.
Full Text: PDF