Dr. Katherine Barsness, associate professor in Surgery and Medical Education at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was seeking for a method to better train paediatric surgeons.
She turned to Feinberg’s Innovations Lab to create 3D printed, anatomically correct replicas of infant’s rib cages, which are later covered with synthetic silicone skin and filled with tissue.
“The overwhelming majority of surgeons just train in the operating room,” said Dr. Barsness. “Everybody has a learning curve when they’re developing new skills, a time when they make mistakes while trying to master a certain technique. Unfortunately, a learning curve places patients at risk.”
In the Simulation training facility students now use the models to practice performing complicated procedures to repair rare birth defects.
“It’s invaluable to practice on something that looks this realistic. It’s an experience that will only benefit my patients in the future,” said Matthew Landman, a pediatric surgery fellow at Children’s Hospital Colorado.