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3D Printed Hearts for Children

3D Printing Industry reports of a medical collaboration between American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) and the University of Wisconsin Madison.

3D printed organs have been used as surgical planning aids for a while now, but this collaboration is slightly different due to its use for preparing surgeons for pediatric heart surgeries.

“The team at AFCH, led by Dr. Petros Anagnostopoulos, has been scanning patients’ hearts using traditional medical scans to create 3D printed models surgeons can interact with before entering the operating room.”

For Dr. Anagnostopoulos, the results speak for themselves: “there’s a lot of ability to see the relationship of the different parts of the heart as they are in real time.  It prepares your whole team better.”  When surgeons are operating upon children, this can only be a good thing.  “One patient, six-year-old Joseph Oehlof, had a heart condition which may have required a transplant.  Dr. Anagnostopoulos was able to prepare for the complex surgery using 3D printed models, which he says improved the surgery’s chances of success.”

As for the team of engineers at the University of Wisconsin Madison who collaborated with these surgeons, their team leader Roldan Alzate “believes the potential of 3D printing in the medical field is only beginning to be realized.”  As he says, “everywhere in the human body would benefit [from] 3D printing.  This is only the beginning.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry

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