Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have developed a way of improving breast cancer surgery that allows for greater tissue retention among patients. 

With 3D scanning, they’ve found it’s possible to capture exact breast shapes pre-operation, then 3D print molds which can be used as personalized surgical aids to optimize results. In another development, the researchers have also come up with new bioresorbable implants that can be customized using MRI data, and programmed to dissolve naturally over time. 

Compared to traditional reconstructive surgeries, it’s thought that the UEA’s approaches could be faster and more accurate, while helping patients avoid the need for repeat operations. 

Although the technology is still under development, the team are optimistic that it could one day be a game-changer for breast cancer survivors. In the shorter term, they’ve also started working with the nearby Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, to see if they can establish a means of 3D printing surgical aids in-house rather than outsourcing them to vendors. 

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