My surgeon told me they had me open for over 6 hours, dealing with lots of adhesions and fistulized bowel that formed a huge mess. They tried to save as much bowel as they could, and I'm grateful for their efforts. But they could have known what to expect before they cut me open..........I even suggested how they could do it. And now I keep reading on here people saying the same thing........they found it much worse once inside and I ended up with a _____ instead of a _____. So here's what I don't understand. My surgeon had me get a full abdominal CT scan prior to the operation. A radiologist read it and gave my surgeon his interpretations. And interpretations are all they are, as reading CT images is an art unto itself. This was back in 2014, and 3-D printing with thermoplastics was still sort of in it's infancy. But I checked into it and found out the file format that both CT scans and MRI's output is the same file type that 3-D printers use to make exact full size three dimensional models. So I checked around. Cleveland Clinic was toying with it, as was Hopkins. I called a few places that did 3-D printing and got quotes. I then went back to my surgeon and asked him if he wanted to me have a 3-D image of my torso internals made for him so he could see what's where, what's sticking to what, and give him a heads-up on what he was getting himself into. He wasn't the least bit intrigued and told me not to waste the $1500 it would cost, because as he put it........"we have to go in and deal with it no matter what we find in there, so no thanks". At the time I figured ok, this guy is supposedly as good as it gets in colorectal surgeons around here, so I guess we'll do it his way. But when he told me post-op how much work he had to do when they got me opened up I felt like telling him he would have known that if he let me make the 3-D model of myself........but I kept quiet.
I keep reading on here that someone went in to the OR expecting to get X and came out with a Y because things were much worse inside them than the surgeon thought. So why aren't surgeons having your guts 3-D printed using the data from your CT or MRI? Today it doesn't cost much to have your full torso printed up. It was about $1500 back in 2014, so how much could it be today? Heck, I could do it for free at work now that we have a full 3-D modeling lab at the base I'm on. And there are commercial 3-D printing facilities everywhere nowadays. I would think major hospitals would all have that capability in-house by now as well. Or maybe they do? Has anyone had their gut reproduced in plastic for your surgeon to look at prior to surgery???