Application of a rapid-prototyped temporal bone model for surgical planning

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ConclusionThis 3D prototyped model constructed using a selective laser sintering method serves as a good material for surgical simulation of a malformed ear.ObjectiveIn order to perform surgery of the malformed ear, a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the ear is required, together with sufficient experience. The aim of this study was to investigate the validity of a prototyped temporal bone model for surgical simulation.Material and methodsSimulated 3D models of two cases of congenital aural atresia were prototyped using a selective laser sintering method. Conventional surgical instruments were used to dissect the models.ResultsAbnormal structures of the middle ear, such as the ossicles, labyrinth and facial nerve, were identified by dissecting the model. Presurgical dissection informed the surgeon of the optimum orientation for surgery. The model was disinfected and could be handled by the surgeon in the operating room. Surgery could be carried out safely although in one case it was canceled because of the highly abnormal location of the middle ear cleft and facial nerve.

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