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The Ottawa Hospital Launches Canada’s First Medical 3D Printing Program

The Ottawa Hospital launched the first hospital based, multi-departmental Medical 3D Printing Program in Canada. This program is aimed at improving surgical planning and enhance education and research in collaboration with the University of Ottawa.

The 3D printing program will allow doctors to produce models for the planning and practice of complex surgeries, develop prosthetics for patients, and create new research opportunities. This places the hospital’s Medical Imaging Department at the forefront of international developments in radiology and moves The Ottawa Hospital closer to becoming one of North America’s top hospitals.

Dr. Adnan Sheikh holds an exact replica of a patient’s pelvis that has one hip eaten away by cancer.

3D modelling will allow surgeons to create detailed anatomical plans in advance of the patient arriving in the operating room,” says Dr. Frank Rybicki, Chief of Medical Imaging at The Ottawa Hospital and Chair of Radiology at the University of Ottawa. “This is about personalized medicine that reduces the need for invasive surgeries, lengthy anesthetics and ultimately improves outcomes at a reduced cost.”

Having this technology in-house will improve patient care and provide new ways to meet the medical needs of those who visit The Ottawa Hospital. It provides new opportunities for research and treatment, and will reduce operating times, resulting in better patient outcomes with fewer complications during surgery.

This is an important and exciting step as we move forward with our vision of providing 21st-century care for the people of eastern Ontario,” says Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital. “Our 3D Medical Printing Program opens the door to many exciting and innovative research opportunities, but most importantly it will improve the care we provide for our patients.

Thanks to a donor’s generosity, The Ottawa Hospital acquired the 3D printer that uses acrylics and plastics to print such things as the patient’s damaged pelvis. “We’re going to print models for surgical planning and for education,” said Dr. Frank Rybicki, Chief of Medical Imaging at The Ottawa Hospital. “If somebody has cancer, we can print the actual organ to show them and explain a treatment plan.”

Knowing ahead of time exactly how to operate reduces the operating time, often by hours, resulting in significant cost savings. Saving surgery times also decreases wait times, which allows more patients to be treated. “It means we can provide care in ways that we were not able to do before,” said Dr. Rybicki.


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