One of the recent wonders of 3D printing involve the use of a 3D printed heart model to perform a heart surgery on a 14-month child. The model had been made by the joint collaboration between University of Louisville and J.B. Speed School of Engineering, from a CT scan of the patient. The 3D model was used to assist doctors to better plan the complex surgical operation.
Roland Lian Cung Baw was a little boy who was born with four congenital heart defects. He was in treatment at the Kosair Children’s Hospital. It seemed difficult to remove all these defects using a single heart surgery. Philip Dydysnki, the chief of radiology at the hospital, approached the J.B. Speed School of Engineering for a 3D printed model of the heart of the patient, so that it could help the doctors to better understand the defects and plan a surgery. To start with, the CT scan of Roland’s heart were provided to the school, who immediately set out to print a model of Ronald’s heart, 1.5 times the actual size. The heart was eventually printed in 3 parts using a soft material having properties similar to that of a heart tissue. The 3D printed model costed only $600 and 20 hours of hard work. Cardiothoracic surgeon Erle Austin III, then used this model to plan the surgery. All the four defects were repaired using a single surgery. As a result of the successful surgery, Ronald was soon released from the hospital. You can see the video below for more details.
Indeed, here we the 3D printing in the service of the humanity. We are very happy that Ronald will now be able to live a very happy and fulfilled life. Would you recommend any friend of yours this type of medical treatment?