Child’s Heart Surgery Aided By 3D-Printed Model

Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal

Kentucky heart surgeon Erle Austin knew that fixing 14-month-old Roland Lian Cung Bawi’s heart would be a delicate process, and he wanted as much information as possible before going in. He went to the engineering school at University of Louisville help with a computer model of the boy’s heart, and they were able to use a 3D printer to make a larger version of the heart to help the team better understand the challenge:

“Once I had a model, I knew exactly what I needed to do and how I could do it,” said Austin, who was able to reduce exploratory incisions, cut operating time and ensure that Roland wouldn’t need follow-up operations. “It was a tremendous benefit.”

The successful Feb. 10 surgery at Kosair marked what hospital officials say was the first use of 3-D printing for a pediatric heart patient in Kentucky.

“We’re still learning about this technology, but it has exciting applications,” said Philip Dydynski, chief of radiology at Kosair, who was part of the medical team.

 

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.


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