Oct 15, 2014
NEW YORK - 

A team of surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital saved the life of a one-week-old baby with the aid of a 3-D printed model of the child's heart. The 3-D model was used as a guide for surgery on the child, who was born with a complex and deadly form of congenital heart disease (CHD).

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

Dr. Emile Bacha, director of congenital and pediatric cardiac surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, and his team performed surgery when the baby was just one week old and weighed only 7 lbs. With the aid of the 3-D model, the team was able to repair all of the heart's defects in a single procedure. Typically, babies born with this complex form of CHD require a series of three or four life-threatening surgeries.

"The baby's heart had holes, which are not uncommon with CHD, but the heart chambers were also in an unusual formation, rather like a maze," said Dr. Bacha, who is also chief of the division of cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Calvin F. Barber Professor of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S).

"In the past, we had to stop the heart and look inside to decide what to do. With 3-D printing technology, we are able to look at the inside of the heart in advance, giving us a road map for the surgery," he added.

Prior to the surgery, a team of doctors led by Dr. Anjali Chelliah, a pediatric cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and assistant professor at P&S, diagnosed the baby with CHD while he was still in the womb, allowing time to develop the optimal treatment plan. After the baby was born, Dr. Chelliah worked closely with Materialise, a company that specializes in 3-D printing for healthcare, to create a model of the child's heart with data taken from a low-dose CT scan performed just one day after the baby.

Only two days after receiving the data, the printer was able to produce an exact replica of the heart, allowing the doctors to understand every detail of the congenital defects.

Dr. Bacha and Dr. Chelliah are optimistic that 3-D printing technology will continue to improve outcomes for patients.

"After the success of this surgery, it's clear that 3-D models can be successfully used to help surgeons in complex procedures," said Dr. Bacha. "This technology is the future, and we are proud that NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is leading the way."

The 3-D printed model of the baby's heart was paid for by Matthew's Hearts of Hope, a non-profit organization that supports CHD patients and their families.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, located in New York City, offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and one of the largest providers of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. It is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. The hospital is also closely affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area, according to U.S. News & World Report, and consistently named to the magazine's Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast.

Media Contact:

Public Affairs     212-821-0560     pr@nyp.org