At the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City, the baby’s heart was 3D printed with the help of an MRI scan data. The baby was suffering from coronary heart disease (CHD). Commonly with CHD, the heart is riddled with holes—this is likewise true of the baby’s heart but what made the condition worse was that the baby’s heart was also structured unusually. The heart of the baby was like a maze with its unusual formation that required complicated heart surgery.
In a normal operation, the first time that the surgeon gets to see the heart is during the surgery itself. The heart needs to be stopped and that’s the time the surgeon can look inside and decide what needs to be done. And with this kind of operation technique, subsequent surgeries would be needed too. However, with the help of 3D printing, doctors like Dr. Emile Bacha, who accomplished the surgery on the baby, can have the opportunity to take a look at the patient’s heart beforehand, have enough time to study it and make a surgical plan.
The surgery went smoothly and Dr. Bacha was able to repair the baby’s heart with just one operation, with a big thanks to 3D printing. The project was funded by a Connecticut based foundation, the Matthew’s Hearts of Hope.