BACKGROUND: Three-dimensional printing is an underutilized technology in ophthalmology training; its use must be explored in complex educational scenarios. This study described a novel approach to trainee education of orbital fracture repair utilizing three-dimensional (3D) printed models as a teaching tool.
METHODS: Ophthalmology residents and oculoplastic fellows from multiple training institutions underwent an educational session on orbital fractures, learning through four different models. Participants analyzed orbital fractures through computerized tomography (CT) imaging alone and then utilizing CT imaging with the aid of a 3D printed model. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing their understanding of the fracture pattern and surgical approach. After the training, participants were surveyed on the impact of the educational session. Components of the training were rated by participants on a 5-point Likert scale.
RESULTS: A statistically significant difference (p < .05) was found in participant confidence conceptualizing the anatomic boundaries of the fracture and planning the orbital fracture approach for repair of three out of four models on pre-test post-test analysis. On exit questionnaire, 84.3% of participants thought the models were a useful tool for surgical planning, 94.8% of participants thought the models were a useful tool for conceptualizing the anatomic boundaries of the fracture, 94.8% of participants thought the models were a useful tool for orbital fracture training, and 89.5% of participants thought the exercise was helpful.
CONCLUSION: This study supports the value of 3D printed models of orbital fractures as an effective tool for ophthalmology trainee education to improve understanding and visualization of complex anatomical space and pathology. Given the limited opportunities trainees may have for hands-on orbital fracture practice, 3D printed models provide an accessible way to enhance training.
Rama, Martina; Schlegel, Lauren; Wisner, Douglas M.; Pugliese, Robert S.; Ramesh, Sathyadeepak; Penne, Robert; and Watson, Alison, "Using Three-Dimensional Printed Models for Trainee Orbital Fracture Education" (2023). Wills Eye Hospital Papers. Paper 193.
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