Surgeons at a New York hospital have credited 3D printing with helping to save the life of a 2-week-old baby who required complicated heart surgery.
Using MRI scan data, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City 3D printed a copy of the child’s heart, which was both riddled with holes and structured unusually.
Surgery was going to be complicated and dangerous, but this 3D printed heart provided the surgeons the opportunity to study the organ, and develop a detailed surgery strategy.
“The baby’s heart had holes, which are not uncommon with CHD, but the heart chambers were also in an unusual formation, rather like a maze,” Dr Emile Bacha, who performed the surgery,told Connecticut local media.
“In the past we had to stop the heart and look inside to decide what to do. With this technique, it was like we had a road map to guide us. We were able to repair the baby’s heart with one operation.”
The project was funded by Matthew’s Hearts of Hope, a Connecticut –based foundation.
They have said that another 3D printed heart is in the making, with details to follow in the next month.
Marie Hatcher, the foundation’s founder, told The Independent:“This is a game changer for CHD babies with complicated heart anatomy.
Normally the first time the surgeon sees the heart is when the chest is open, now they have the ability to plan out the surgery ahead of time while looking at a 3 D Heart of the baby or child’s heart.”