Tampa surgeons get assist from 3D-printed organ replicas

A Tampa hospital is printing 3D hearts and other body parts to better prepare physicians for surgeries.

Tampa General Hospital uses seven medical-grade 3D printers to make replicas of the patients' organs so surgeons can appraise them outside the body, saving operating time and reducing costs, and to educate patients about their procedures

"Because of this 3D technology, we can take an 11-hour surgery down to a three-hour surgery,'' Summer Decker, PhD, director of 3D clinical applications at University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine, said in a May 19 news release. "So it makes for safer and more efficient procedures.''

A 3D heart takes about 15 hours to print.

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