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What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a method of additive manufacturing in which a digital model is printed into a physical, three-dimensional object. We are able to take the images from a CT scan and convert them into a digital 3D model. This model can be printed on its own, or computer aided design (CAD) can be used to design additional guides to aid with various surgical procedures. We use a variety of 3D printing technologies to enable us to print full scale anatomical models in addition to biologically compatible, sterilizable guides that can be used in surgeries.

What’s the benefit for clients and patients?

The primary benefit of 3D modeling and printing is that they allows us to extensively evaluate a patient’s abnormal anatomy and plan out the surgical procedure. It saves time in surgery because we can practice on the 3D printed model as many times as needed until we are confident we will achieve the optimal outcome.

We can show our clients the 3D model of their pet’s condition to provide a better explanation and understanding of the extent of their pet’s condition and what the recommended surgical procedure will entail.

3D Printing allows VCA ASEC to:

  • Create pre-operative surgical guides for better accuracy and less invasive surgery.
  • Print patient specific anatomical models to guide treatment of complex orthopedic and vascular, and oncological (cancerous) conditions.
  • Reduce anesthetic time, surgical time, and achieve a more predictable surgical outcome.

See our departments


VCA ASEC is among the largest surgical groups in Southern California, in business for over 30 years. With multiple, board-certified surgeons on-site 7 days a week for consultations and procedures, VCA ASEC provides your pet with an unmatched depth of expertise. VCA ASEC’s surgeons employ the latest technology for all types of surgery and have published articles in veterinary journals for over 25 years.

Here are just a few of the reasons why over 1600 veterinarians refer their challenging surgical cases to VCA ASEC:

  • Multiple surgeons can scrub in on each case, minimizing operative and anesthetic time and enhancing patient care.
  • Multiple specialists means multiple perspectives and opinions instantly available for any given case.
  • Unmatched depth of expertise: VCA ASEC’s team of surgeons has many decades of combined experience.
  • We are always happy to get on the phone and talk through cases.
  • Surgeons are available 24/7/365 for emergency cases requiring immediate surgery.

Surgery Department Services:

  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Oncologic (Cancer) Surgery
  • Neuro-spinal Surgery
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Myelography
  • 3D Printing & Surgical Planning
  • T.P.L.O. (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy)
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Arthroscopic Procedures 

VCA ASEC’s specialists provide minimally-invasive procedures 7 days a week. Minimally-invasive procedures speed healing and provide optimal patient outcomes. Our specialists perform and teach these techniques regularly.

Minimally Invasive Abdominal Procedures:

  • Exploratory laparoscopy
  • Biopsies: gastrointestinal (full-thickness), liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, lymph nodes, masses
  • Laser Ectopic Ureter Ablation
  • Ovariohysterectomy & ovariectomy
  • Cryptorchidectomy
  • Laparoscopic & endoscopic Gastropexy
  • Gastrotomy
  • Percutaneous laser cystic calculi ablation
  • Cystotomy
  • Nephrectomy

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Procedures:

  • Lung lobectomy (neoplasia; spontaneous pneumothorax)
  • Non-infiltrative thymoma removal
  • Thoracic duct ligation for chylothorax
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Biopsies: lung, pleural, & hilar lesions
  • Pyothorax exploratory

Stents & Interventional Radiology:

  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Ureteral obstruction (calculi, neoplasia)
  • Urethral obstruction (calculi, neoplasia)
  • Esophageal stricture (stent or balloon dilatation)
  • Colonic obstruction (stent or balloon dilatation)
  • Nasopharyngeal stenosis

Common Surgical Conditions:

Our Surgery Services

Surgery Services Overview
Surgical Neurology
3D Printing and Surgical Planning
Advanced Anesthetic Monitoring

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