Imaging in Stone Diagnosis and Surgical Planning

Emily C. Serrell; Sara L. Best


Curr Opin Urol. 2022;32(4):397-404. 

In This Article

CT-guided 3D Printed Models for Operative Planning

In recent years, there have been early descriptions of the use of 3D printed, patient-specific renal models from CT images. These printed models are anatomically accurate to within 1–2 mm, are cost-effective, and improve calyx selection for access.[132,133,134] In a small pilot study, the preoperative use of personalized 3D renal models was associated with significantly improved access accuracy, reduced puncture time, and lower operative bleeding.[135]

The use of 3D printed models may be particularly useful for the training of urology residents, who may lack but need surgical experience. These printed models have been applied to retrograde ureteroscopy training,[133,136] as well as US and fluoroscopic PCNL access.[133,137,138] Residents who used a 3D printed PCNL model had significant improvement in identification of anterior and posterior calyces, selection of optimal calyceal access, and performed better on standardized PCNL questionnaires.[138,139] In recent years, there has been increased interest in the utilization of 3D-printed renal models to improve preoperative doctor-patient communication, increase stone clearance rate, and reduce operative time, complications, operative bleeding, and length of hospital stay.[140,141] In addition, immersive virtual reality 3D models may assist in improved understanding of personalized renal anatomy.[142]