Modern technology being used in an innovative way at the Barrow Innovation Center is making it easier for surgeons to plan for and create new surgical techniques to help patients.
The center, located inside St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center at 350 W. Thomas Road, has created technology involving 3-D printing to transform spine surgery. Dr. Michael Bohl, founder and director of the Barrow Innovation Center and chief neurosurgery resident at Barrow, said the 3-D printers are used to create models of patients’ spines that are not just anatomically realistic but also “biomechanically realistic.” This method allows doctors to produce exact replicas of people’s spines to decrease the length of surgeries and offer patients improved outcomes and shorter recovery times.
The 3-D printing helps to plan a variety of spinal surgeries for disorders including scoliosis. Doctors take medical imaging of patients’ spines and convert it to files that can run through a 3-D printer to create the 3-D model, Bohl said.
“It gives us an opportunity to rehearse a patient’s case ahead of time to test out different plans, see what’s going to work best,” he said.
To learn more, visit www.barrowneuro.org.