It wasn’t before December that she heard for sure that it was a brain tumor. About three months later, after another MRI, doctors said that it had ballooned about half a centimeter, a sign of malignance. He found the tumor hadn’t grown at all.
As first detailed by Make magazine, Balzer, who is a 3D imaging expert behind the website AllThings3D, used Photoshop and layered the 2D images to compare what radiologists were telling his wife to his own research. He found the tumor hadn’t grown at all. It was clear they couldn’t simply rely on what the doctors were saying.
Scott, who is a family psychotherapist that researches things like video game addiction, said several neurosurgeons told her that, because of the mass’ location (behind her left eye), the only option was “sawing your skull open” and lifting the brain to remove the tumor, which, of course, comes with tons of risks, including possible cognitive damage and blindness. Scott worried she’d never be the same.
Balzer began experimenting with 3D imaging technology from other parts of the world. Using a tool called InVesalius — open-source software from Brazil that uses DICOM, MRI and CT files to visualize medical images — as well as another imaging software 3D Slicer, he was able to create renderings of his wife’s tumor. The couple sent them out to hospitals across the country around February, Balzer said.
Though Balzer’s 3D renderings can’t take all the credit for how smoothly everything went, he said that the surgeons were “very excited” about what he had done. He also realized that he didn’t need to rely on doctors alone for medical advice. Read more…