Physicians around the globe have one goal in common, which is to improve patient care. Materialise recently attended the first workshop on Surgical Morphology and Imaging of Congenital Heart Disease in Asia organized by the Cardiac Centre at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH). As an academic medical center and teaching hospital in Singapore, KKH is taking 3D Printing technology advancements in medicine to the next level by training specialists from the region – using actual 3D-printed heart models from patients.
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust has been increasingly implementing 3D Printing in its hospital services. The latest addition to their offer has been the ability to 3D print heart models based on Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) scans from their patients. And most innovatively of all, the Trust has developed a way of 3D Printing heart models that also show signs of scarring.
Patients suffering from Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) can benefit from the insights a 3D-printed model is able to provide their clinicians. Tangible models help the medical team to visualize and understand the complex anatomy of the patient’s heart. A first step in the process of creating a patient-specific model is segmenting the medical images. Dr. Nicholas Byrne et al. from Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in the UK examined the range of several cardiovascular segmentation processes and how much time each of these methods takes. The findings of this first systematic review are published in the JRSM Cardiovascular Disease journal.
Two-year old British Mina Khan was born with a complex hole between her ventricles (VSD). This life-threatening congenital defect exhausted her. Pumping blood around the hole took up all her energy, leaving her breathless, unable to eat or put on weight — even her hair wouldn’t grow. Doctors feared the hole was too big to repair, especially in the tiny, delicate heart of a toddler. Even for experienced pediatric surgeons, this would be a very risky operation.
3-year-old Ivy was born with a complex congenital heart disease (CHD), and diagnosed with absent pulmonary valve syndrome and Tetralogy of Fallot. When she was 6 months old, the girl underwent an operation to repair these conditions, which were causing her pulmonary arteries to dilate out of proportion and compressing her airways. The surgeon at the time carried out the LeCompte Maneuver during the repair, which involves the re-plumbing of the pulmonary arteries anterior to the aorta to relieve pressure on the patient’s lungs. A conduit was positioned between the right ventricle and the pulmonary arteries.
Specialist spine surgeons at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool used medical 3D Printing in preparation for a life-changing surgery. The patient in question was an eight-year-old from Wales with kyphoscoliosis, a complex congenital spinal problem. The surgeons modeled and printed her spine in 3D, giving them a much better oversight for the procedure.