A nine-month-old baby suffering from a rare congenital heart defect (CHD) has successfully been operated with the help of the 3D printing technology.
The boy weighed 5.6 kilograms before surgery and was diagnosed with CHD when he experienced shortness of breath after birth.
Doctors at the People's Hospital of Jilin sought the help of the technology since the baby was tiny and had a condition called total pulmonary venous anomalous drainage, where all four of his pulmonary veins were malpositioned. He also had an atrial septal defect, causing blood to flow between the upper chambers of the heart.
"The defect was very rare and complicated. Because the boy is so young and small, it was difficult to develop the best surgery plan using just an ultrasound examination," said Zhang Xueqin, the baby's surgeon and director of the pediatric cardiac surgery center at the People's Hospital of Jilin.
"With the model, we were able to know precisely where and how we should cut, and how big the incision should be. And with such a thorough plan, we spent only half the time we had expected to complete the surgery," said Zhang.