Individualizing Management of Complex Esophageal Pathology Using Three-Dimensional Printed Models

Karen J. Dickinson, Jane Matsumoto, Stephen D. Cassivi, J. Matthew Reinersman, Joel G. Fletcher, Jonathan Morris, Louis M. Wong Kee Song, Shanda H. Blackmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose. In complex esophageal cases, conventional two-dimensional imaging is limited in demonstrating anatomic relationships. We describe the utility of three-dimensional (3D) printed models for complex patients to individualize care. Description. Oral effervescent agents, with positive enteric contrast, distended the esophagus during computed tomography (CT) scanning to facilitate segmentation during post-processing. The CT data were segmented, converted into a stereolithography file, and printed using photopolymer materials. Evaluation. In 1 patient with a left pneumonectomy, aortic bypass, and esophageal diversion, 3D printing enabled visualization of the native esophagus and facilitated endoscopic mucosal resection, followed by hiatal dissection and division of the gastroesophageal junction as treatment. In a second patient, 3D printing allowed enhanced visualization of multiple esophageal diverticula, allowing for optimization of the surgical approach. Conclusions. Printing of 3D anatomic models in patients with complex esophageal pathology facilitates planning the optimal surgical approach and anticipating potential difficulties for the multidisciplinary team. These models are invaluable for patient education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-697
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Individualizing Management of Complex Esophageal Pathology Using Three-Dimensional Printed Models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this