Cardiologists use 3D printing to save tiny lives

Pediatric cardiac surgery is one of the most demanding medical specialties. It needs to deal with delicate structures like tiny little hearts of neonates.

3D printing is becoming more and more popular solution in many hospital departments. It is also used by cardiologists. Unfortunately, while the most common FDM 3D printers are good enough for everyday use, this time that technology couldn’t help. Doctors needed a solution that would provide surgical precision. They had to imitate every little vein and artery that surrounds the heart.

As it turned out, SLS (selective laser sintering) 3D technology meets all the requirements. Such SLS 3D-printed models can be used both for planning the cardiac surgery but also for interventional procedures, especially in complex and rare congenital heart diseases when the anatomy is always different and vary from patient to patient.

3D printing helps to plan surgery and therefore makes it safer, easier and shorter. Operations, where doctors practiced on 3D printed hearts, have a higher rate of success, which is leading to a better life of the patient.