Surgeon Uses 3D Printed Heart for Surgery

Surgeon Uses 3D Printed Heart for SurgerySurgeon Uses 3D Printed Heart for Surgery

A five-year-old girl, who had a life threatening heart condition has made a full recovery, thanks to an innovative technique used by a surgeon in the United States.

In March, Mia Gonzalez was given just days to live.

She had a rare heart malformation, known as Double Aortic Arch, which restricts a person’s airflow.

Doctors believed the condition was inoperable. However, when a 3D model was made of the young girl’s heart, a surgeon managed to locate the problem, which he then went on to repair in the operating theatre.

Dr Redmond Burke from the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami told Sky News: “I hold the baby’s heart in my hand when I repair it, but I can’t hold a CT scan or an MRI.”

“A 3D replica of a child’s heart I can hold, so this is a completely different way to provide information to a surgeon. It is much more compelling. We need to feel things in our hands. It’s very powerful when you show a family their baby’s heart and explain how you’ll repair it.”

Mia has now made a full recovery and is taking part in sporting activities.

Three dimensional models take around nine hours to be made on a specialist printer.

The patient’s organs are scanned by an MRI machine. They are then fed to a computer and the printer converts them into a 3D model.