Nov 24, 2015 | By Tess
3D printing technologies have taken the medical world by storm, helping surgeons prepare for surgeries, aiding doctors and researchers in understanding the complex anatomies of their patients and even being used to create customized, high quality prosthetics. Many of the big breakthroughs in medical uses of 3D printing have come out of the Unites States, Western Europe, and China, though one other nation has recently garnered attention for its positive applications of 3D printing in pediatrics: India.
More specifically, Mumbai-based 3D printing company Sahas Softech LLP has developed a healthcare branch of its company, named OCTE Technologies Pvt. Ltd. – OCTE stands for organs, cells, and tissue engineering – to undertake and assist hospitals in complicated cases where 3D printing could provide much needed help.
One of India’s leading pediatric cardiac care centers, the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) has recently collaborated with Sahas Softech LLP’s healthcare unit to help cure some of its patients’ suffering from complex cases of congenital heart disease. One of these patients was the young child named Ram who, from a very young age, suffered from an abnormal heart condition called “criss-cross heart”.
Ram’s parents brought him to various doctors and hospitals hoping for a cure to his condition but were met with negative answers almost everywhere, with surgeons saying the operation would be too complex to have a successful outcome. Earlier this year, however, when Ram turned two months old, his parents found help through the AIMS, who agreed to take on his case.
In short, the AIMS found that the main valves and chambers of Ram’s heart were completely twisted, that the heart also had a centricular septal defect, and that many other complications existed in his cardiac anatomy as well. The decision of whether to operate at all remained difficult until one pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Mahesh Kappanayil, decided to see what 3D printing technologies could do to aid the situation. Dr. Mahesh had previously worked with 3D printing in surgery and was aware of the potentials it could offer, though found the process difficult as he previously had to order the 3D printed models from overseas. For Ram’s case, however, Dr. Mahesh discovered that Sahas Softech LLP offered 3D printing services that could fit his needs.
“I realized that the expertise and potential for creating 3D printed heart models existed right here in India,” explains Dr. Mahesh.
Through the collaboration between the hospital and the 3D printing specialists, a virtual model of Ram’s heart was ready within only a few hours of receiving the MRI and CT scan data, and a physical 3D printed model of it was ready in just a couple days. The team of surgeons at the AIMS received the 3D printed model and made the adjustments to their planned surgery accordingly.
“All the intricate details of Ram’s heart and its abnormalities became clearly evident – much more than what was possible through all his previous scans. Using the model, his surgery could be precisely planned and executed on the same day, with a much shorter surgery time than otherwise.”
Thanks to the 3D printed model of the heart and the surgeons’ skills Ram’s operation was successful, though he will need other surgeries in the future to correct his heart’s other defects.
OCTE Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has also collaborated with the Fortis Child Heart Mission in India on multiple occasions to help in complex surgical cases. It will continue to assist doctors and surgeons all over the country in facilitating complex pediatric surgical procedures with their 3D printed models.
There is no question that 3D printing has made huge impacts in the medical field, and it is encouraging now to see its positive influence expanding into different countries, making differences in many people’s lives all over the world.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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