Operable, Low-Cost, High-Resolution, Patient-Specific 3D Printed Temporal Bones for Surgical Simulation and Evaluation

Monika E. Freiser*, Anish Ghodadra, Andrew A. McCall, Amber D. Shaffer, Michael Magnetta, Noel Jabbour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: Three-dimensional printed models created on a consumer level printer can be used to practice mastoidectomy and to discern mastoidectomy experience level. Current models in the literature for mastoidectomy are limited by expense or operability. The aims of this study were (1) to investigate the utility of an inexpensive model for mastoidectomy and (2) to assess whether the model can be used as an evaluation tool to discern the experience level of the surgeon performing mastoidectomy. Methods: Three-dimensional printed temporal bone models from the CT scan of a 7-year old patient were created using a consumer-level stereolithography 3D printer for a raw material cost of $10 each. Mastoidectomy with facial recess approach was performed by 4 PGY-2 residents, 4 PGY-5 residents, and 4 attending surgeons on the models who then filled out an evaluation. The drilled models were collected and then graded in a blinded fashion by 6 attending otolaryngologists. Results: Both residents and faculty felt the model was useful for training (mean score 4.7 out of 5; range: 4-5) and case preparation (mean score: 4.3; range: 3-5). Grading of the drilled models revealed significant differences between junior resident, senior resident, and attending surgeon scores (P =.012) with moderate to excellent interrater agreement (ICC = 0.882). Conclusion: The described operable model that is patient-specific was rated favorably for pediatric mastoidectomy case preparation and training by residents and faculty. The model may be used to differentiate between experience levels and has promise for use in formative and summative evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1051
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • educational models
  • mastoidectomy
  • simulation training
  • three-dimensional printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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