Belarusian cardiologists have found a new way to treat patients’ hearts. They tested a 3D modelling technology to conduct surgeries.
Surgeons at the Cardiology scientific and practical center used a 1:1 3D replica of a human’s heart to plan and conduct an operation.
It took three weeks to model a hearts’ copy using contrast-enhanced computer tomography (CT) data.
Doctors received the CT data of a particular patient and then created an individual 3D model.
The idea to use modern technology to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy first came to specialists in autumn 2016, when one of the doctors saw a picture of a 3D heart model and shared it with colleagues.
The main difficulty in such surgeries is that specialists operate ‘blindfold’: in conditions of limited visibility doctors have to determine the exact size of muscle mass that needs to be extracted to normalize the blood flow.
3D modelling helps to find the golden mean.
In Belarus, there are about 500 people who suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; 106 of them have already been operated.
A person can live a life without knowing they have the disease. But in the worst cases it manifests itself with a sudden cardiac death.
The 3D model helped to plan the surgery and to control its process. First, doctors operate on the model, and then on the patient’s heart.
The technology was successfully tested on two patients, both men. The first operation took place in late January 2017, the second one in February 2017.
“We were driven by scientific enthusiasm,” the surgeons said.