3D modeling to reduce patient risk in paediatric cardiac surgery
An infant boy presented with a common arterial trunk and interruption of the aortic arch. Babies born with a common arterial trunk tend to look perfectly well at first, but will gradually develop symptoms of breathlessness over the first month or so after birth.
The clinical team in charge of the baby’s treatment wanted to clearly understand the proportions and anatomy of the sub-aortic area, which generally can be difficult to comprehend through 2D imaging; a problem further compounded when treating small babies with intricate anatomical structures.
A physical 3D model of the anatomy of the baby’s heart and aortic arch was produced which gave the clinicians a clear illustration of the VSD and origin of the common trunk overriding it. The knowledge acquired from the model transformed the surgeon’s diagnosis and planned approach, resulting in significant time savings of 80 minutes and more importantly, reduced levels of risk to the baby during the procedure. Additionally, the model was a welcome visual aid for the baby’s parents, who had already faced incredible levels of anxiety in diagnosing their son.