A little girl survived a dangerous heart surgery with the help of a 3D-printed model. Five-year old Mia Gonzalez needed surgery for a double aortic arch, a condition in which a vascular ring growing from the heart wraps around the esophagus or trachea. This leads to symptoms similar to those from asthma, and can be fatal.
In order to prepare for the delicate surgery, a team of doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami 3D-printed a model of the girl’s heart using a Stratasys printer, allowing them to get a complete look at the double aortic arch.
“By making a 3D model of her very complex aortic arch vessels, we were able to further visualize which part of her arch should be divided to achieve the best physiological result,” said Dr. Redmond Burke, director of pediatric cardiovascular surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. “It’s very powerful when you show a family ‘this is your baby’s heart and this is how I’m going to repair it.”
Stratasys can use MRI scan data to create medical models that replicate an individual patient’s needs. The Stratasys reseller AdvancedRP printed multiple models of Mia’s heart using an Objet500 Connex3 Multi-Material 3D printer.
Mia made a complete recovery from surgery and has returned to her favorite activities, such as dancing and baseball.
“Going from four-and-a-half years of not knowing to being back to normal in less than two months: that’s been a great experience for us,” said Mia’s mother, Katherine Gonzalez.
Filed Under: 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography, Industrial automation