Technologist creates 3D model of his own abdomen before colon surgery

After years of gathering data of his health, a University of California, San Diego technologist provided his surgical team with a 3D model of his abdomen days before going in for colon surgery.

Larry Smarr, 68, noted that as 3D imaging for brain and heart surgeries has become the norm, images related to abdominal procedures, specifically for the colon, remain rare.

In 2012, Smarr realized he had something wrong with his digestive tract. He began taking his own blood and stool samples and obtained images of his abdomen. From there, he began working with computer scientist Jürgen Schulze, who helped him to stitch the individual 2D slices from MRI into a seamless 3D picture. Smarr's surgeon noted that the 3D model resulted in less incisions and a shorter time under anesthesia. 

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