Case Studies 2021 05 06 09h15 35

Getting to the safest surgery plan

Case Study
  • Cardiology

Around 1 in every 240 people are born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) each year in the United States. For most people, the causes of heart defects such as a VSD are unknown and over time, if not repaired, this defect can increase the risk for other complications, including heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or stroke. Continue reading to discover how 3D modeling supported this physician to:

  • Save 60 minutes of pre-operative planning time
  • Reduce time in operating room by 60 minutes
  • Transform physician to physician communication ahead of this complex VSD procedure

In this case, a male patient presented with a hole in his ventricular septum, the wall which separates the heart's lower chambers, allowing blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart. The hole in this man’s heart meant that oxygen-rich blood was being pumped back to his lungs rather than to the rest of his body, causing his heart to work harder than normal.

A procedure involving such intricate anatomical structures requires the highest levels of precision. Before this procedure, the lead physician wanted to leave no stone unturned in understanding the exact condition of this patient’s heart and VSD, so he requested a 3D model from Axial3D to ensure just that.

Above: A model of the man’s heart in clear resin, with the VSD highlighted and the coronary arteries highlighted in red.

The model was a vital aid for the physician and transformed planning for this case. The physician defined an entirely new plan upon reviewing the model, and was able to confirm that his new plan was indeed the safest option much faster than he could have done without the model. An entire 60 minutes faster, in fact.

Secondary to this, the model was also used within the team to practise the procedure ahead of time. This advanced understanding supported the team in saving a further 60 minutes of time during the operation itself as they had a much clearer understanding of the relationship of the anatomical structures and VSD, having already completed a trial procedure using the model.

This 3D model truly transformed this patient’s experience not only through a shortened length of time on the operating table, thus reducing his risk of infection and complications, but also in providing his physician with additional information that changed the course of the procedure and ensured successful results on the first attempt.