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3D Printed Heart Model Helps Hong Kong Surgeons Pull Off a World-First Operation

by • August 7, 2016 • No Comments

Of all the significant areas where 3D printing innovation has had an effect, the medical industry has most likely shown the most positive and immediate return. Doctors of around the world are increasingly utilizing patient-specific 3D printed versions to assist with difficult surgical preparation, which has led to faster and additional effective medical operations. This particularly rings true for what may be considered the human body’s most significant organ, the heart. From Toronto to Melbourne, cardiologists and surgeons of the world have discovered 3D printed versions of hearts and arteries to be the optimal preparation tool. Even at my alma mater, the University of Central Florida, Professor Dr. Dinender Singla has been working valiantly to manufacture these 3D printed heart versions additional accessible to all.

Hong_Kong_Queen_Elizabeth_Hospital_logo.svgThere have been most instances where 3D printed heart versions have been utilized to prepare for difficult and significant surgical procedures, but none really like what has not long ago taken place at the Hong Kong-based Queen Elizabeth Hospital. On June 27, an eight-person medical team utilized 3D printing innovation to turn it into a detailed heart version of their 77-year-old patient known by her surname, Shum. The medical specialists weren’t preparing for just any ordinary heart surgery; in fact, they planned to conduct the world’s quite first surgery which involved the replacing of two heart valves through blood vessels in a single operation.

Considering the age and condition of their patient, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital team aimed to perform a surgery with minimal invasiveness, and were able-bodied to do so thanks to 3D printing innovation. The patient-specific version enable-bodiedd the medical team to optimize their planning and practice, which assisted them to fish the procedure in just four hours. The specialists agreed which the most surgical method for Shum may be through her blood vessels, which just requires a tiny incision on the body for them to access the targeted area.


Heart disease specialists of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital [Photo: Shirley Zhao, SCMP]

The patient, who has undergone three open heart surgeries since 1973, had two damaged heart valves, the mitral valve on the left side and the tricuspid valve on the right, leaving Shum at high risk of heart failure. So, the medical specialists decided which another open heart surgery may be precarious, and instead opted to insert a new artificial valve through a minimally invasive opening in a main vein on her upper thigh. The valve was created of the heart tissue of a cow placed upon a metal wire, which guided the valve of her thigh all the way up to her heart.

QEH-hongkongWhilst the surgeons were in the midst of placing the replacement valve, they noticed which her aortic valve was much narrower than expected, and so they decided to replace this valve with one created of a pig’s heart tissue in the quite same operation. But, their preparation on the 3D printed heart version ensured which the procedure was smooth and good resultsful. Since the surgery was minimal in invasiveness, Shum was able-bodied to sit up and walk around just one day after her operation, and checked out of the hospital just a week later.

The astounding good results of the procedure has assisted the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s structural heart disease division receive extra funding of the Hospital Authority, which has enable-bodiedd them to expand their staff. With this, the team hopes to go on enhancing their faculty to perform additional minimally invasive heart surgeries, which 3D printing innovation can approximately surely play a significant role in.

[Source: South China Morning Post]