“Without a 3D printed model, I might not have been able to figure out the repair method that I used, and I’m not sure if the operation would have been successful.”
– Dr. Redmond Burke
Point-of-Care 3D printing allows clinicians to better prepare for intricate surgeries through detailed medical models and increased visualization. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was one of the first to implement 3D printing into their surgical planning. So far, they have 3D printed over 500 anatomical models.
Segmentation with Synopsys Simpleware
Doctors and engineers at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital worked with Synopsys Simpleware Product Group to be able to convert their patient imaging data into 3D printable medical models. With this capability, doctors can demonstrate their planned surgical procedure to the patient and their family beforehand.
Medical image segmentation allows doctors to extract regions of interest from 3D image data such as CT scans.
The major reason for segmentation is to focus on a particular anatomy that is needed for a study or for surgery preparation. Manual segmentation with an experienced biomedical engineer would normally take about 2 hours for heart segmentation, but with Synopsys Simpleware Scan IP Medical and its automated segmentation capabilities, the process took around 15 minutes with a less experienced engineer.
Mia’s Medical Miracle
Mia Gonzalez spent the first four years of her life being misdiagnosed by doctors, unable to be treated for her rare heart condition. With Simpleware’s automated segmentation software, Dr. Redmond Burke was able to print a 3D model of Mia’s heart from her CT scan.
Surgeons normally use imaging systems or echocardiography to study patient’s organs, but with Synopsys ScanIP Medical, they can physically hold a 3D printed version of the organ. This helps surgeons visualize the operation and confidently determine the safest method. “Her deformity was one-of-a-kind,” said Burke. “But I thought that holding and manipulating a flexible 3D replica of this child’s heart might allow me to design an operation that hadn’t been done before.”
Dr. Burke and his team were able to determine which part of Mia’s heart should be divided, allowing for successful results. The model allowed operating time to be reduced by 2 hours, which also lowered the surgical risk and cost for Mia’s family.
Not only can the surgeon and the team hold the medical model, the patient’s family can as well. Holding the model of their child’s heart makes the family feel comfortable knowing that the surgeon has confidence in their surgical approach.
With the help of the Stratasys J850 Digital Anatomy 3D printer, the J5 MediJet 3D printer, and Synopsys Simpleware Scan IP software, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is able to replicate anatomies with unique irregularities to better prepare for high-risk surgeries and save lives. Mia’s story showcases the values of advanced technology in the medical industry and why 3D printing is beneficial.
Meet Katie Elhardt
Meet our Marketing Assistant, Katie Elhardt. Katie is responsible for helping maintain the company website, social media, and events. Her favorite part about Purple is the innovative technology and the company culture.
Outside of work, Katie enjoys attending 80’s concerts, going to Disneyland, and taking long walks near the beach. If you haven’t had the chance to meet her yet, stop by our office or connect on LinkedIn!