Case Studies

Case Study 1: Surgical Training.

In 2018, the annual Frontal Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Course (FESS) at Adelaide University, Ray Larson Laboratory, as requested by the Royal Australian college of Surgeons (RACS) A total of 22 cadavers were imported, of which two cadavers had already had the sinus removed, during their natural lives. In attendance was 40 registrars / surgeons, plus faculty. This equates to each attendee being allocated half a sinus for training, during the 3-day FESS course. Fast forward to 2021 and the annual FESS course was relocated to Fusetec’s Advanced Surgical Training Clinic and each surgeon was allocated 3 sinus models each, equating to 6 times the level of surgical training, for the same cost. The instructors would dissect a model, with all attendees observing. Then all attendees would be allocated the exact same anatomical model to dissect under supervision from the faculty. With advance manufactured models derived from digital data the anatomy and learning experience was controlled, as each registrar/ surgeon skill levels could now accurately access. A survey of all attendees was overwhelmingly in support of the training program and future FESS courses have been booked at the Fusetec Clinic.

Case Study 2: Real Life Surgery

Inverted Papilloma is rare tumour, located in the nasal cavity, requiring endonasal endoscopy surgery. As Inverted Papillomas are uncommon, when a case was presented in 2021 a local highly skilled and acknowledged Otolaryngologist purchased two Inverted Papilloma models from Fusetec and rehearsed the procedure, prior to removing the tumour from the patient. The outcome was a success, rehearsal led to refreshing skills, prior to a real-life dissection.

Case Study 3: Collaboration

Many challenges have been overcome during product development, an example, is the Total Knee Replacement (TKR) model requested to be developed a Tier 1 Medical Device Company. Fusetec collaborated with Flinders University to identify the material parameters, against 20 years of historical date on human tissue, undertaking a finite element model (FEM) to determine the ligament parameters similar to cadaveric data, using these parameters to manufacture a series of knee models, which were tested in a six degree of freedom hexapod robot. The surgical training models developed in this study reduce the need for cadavers in training TKR technique. New materials had to be developed that anatomically mimicked the strength and flexibility of the medial, lateral, ACL and PCL ligaments. Collaboration with higher education is driving anatomically accurate product development and translating ideas to products, then to markets. The TKR models is being rolled out globally to up-skill surgeons on the use of robotic surgery, which will improve the quality of patients’ lives.